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Sherwin Williams and USB receive Presidential Green Chemistry Award

July 26, 2011

A four-year partnership between America's soybean farmers and Sherwin-Williams has received the Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the EPA.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented Sherwin-Williams with one of five 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards during a ceremony in Washington, DC on June 20, 2011. EPA also recognized the United Soybean Board (USB) for its role in the development of the product.

The honor recognizes the development of an innovative new paint formulation that utilizes soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles (PET) and reduces volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 60 percent.

"We know as farmers that we're doing things that are environmentally safe, greener and sustainable," said Bob Haselwood, USB director and new 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. These new paints combine the performance benefits of alkyds and low VOC content of acrylics, the company said. 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," said Chris Connor, chairman and CEO, Sherwin-Williams Company.

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.

"EPA congratulates this year's winners for designing and developing innovative green chemistry technologies that will result in safer chemicals for use in products, homes, schools and workplaces that also have significant environmental and economic benefits," said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

Sherwin-Williams received the award in the Designing Greener Chemicals category. The paints are sold as ProClassic Waterbased Acrylic Alkyd, ProMar 200 Waterbased Acrylic Alkyd and ProIndustrial Waterborne Enamel.

In related news, a Pike Research study projected that the green chemistry market will grow from $2.8 billion in 2011 to $98.5 billion by 2020.