A unique, four-year partnership between America’s soybean farmers and the Sherwin-Williams Co. has received the Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
WASHINGTON, DC – A unique, four-year partnership between America’s soybean farmers and the Sherwin-Williams Co. has received the Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The honor recognizes the development of an innovative new paint formulation that utilizes soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles (PET) and reduces VOCs by 60 percent.
The EPA presented Sherwin-Williams Co., Cleveland, OH, with one of five 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards during a ceremony in Washington, DC on June 20. EPA also recognized USB for its role in the development of the product.
“We know as farmers that we’re doing things that are environmentally safe, greener and sustainable,” said Bob Haselwood, USB Director and News Uses Chairman, who accepted the certificate of recognition on behalf of USB. “By using soybeans in products like those developed by Sherwin-Williams, more people will realize how the soybean industry is playing a part in the green revolution.”
Sherwin-Williams, with soybean checkoff funding and technical support from USB, developed water-based acrylic alkyd paints with low VOCs that can be made from soybean oil, PET and acrylics. Oil-based alkyd paints have high levels of VOCs that become air pollutants as the paint dries. Previous acrylic paints contained lower VOCs, but could not match the performance of alkyds. These new paints combine the performance benefits of alkyds and low-VOC content of acrylics. The soybean oil helps to promote film formation, gloss, flexibility and cure.
In 2010, Sherwin-Williams manufactured enough of these new paints to eliminate over 800,000 pounds of VOCs. The company has used 320,000 pounds of soybean oil, 250,000 pounds of PET and eliminated 1,000 barrels of oil.
“Incorporating simple ingredients like soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles into a first-of-its-kind powerful paint formula, provides a winning transformational combination for our customers and the environment,” Chris Connor, Chairman and CEO of The Sherwin-Williams Co. said.
EPA’s 16th Annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards recognize pioneering chemical technologies developed by leading researchers and industrial innovators who are making significant contributions to pollution prevention in the United States. These prestigious awards recognize the design of safer and more sustainable chemicals, processes and products that will protect Americans, particularly children, from exposure to harmful chemicals. Sherwin-Williams received the award in the Designing Greener Chemicals category.
USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.