The Michigan Green Chemistry Program of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), with active support of the Michigan Green Chemistry Roundtable, had developed the Michigan Green Chemistry Governor’s Awards Program to “promote excellence in innovation, economic development and public health risk reduction by businesses and institutions” in the State of Michigan.

Each year, the Awards Program ceremony is convened in conjunction with the annual Michigan Green Chemistry and Engineering (GreenUp) Conference. Award presentations are made to winners within the business, small business, academic and public sectors (See below for a list of previous winners).

Award Focus Areas and Categories 

2015 Michigan Green Chemistry Governor’s Award Program

Please download the 2015 nomination package (PDF) for full details on the various award focus areas and categories, and how to complete and submit a nomination. Self-nominations are allowed and expected.

The Award Program is open to individuals, groups, and organizations in Michigan, both nonprofit and for profit, including academia and industry.  Awards are available in the following focus areas and categories:

Focus Areas

Award Focus Areas
A nominated green chemistry achievement should be an example of one or more of the following five focus areas. It must be Michigan specific and must illustrate how the innovation supports Michigan’s growth, how it will be advanced, and how it benefits Michigan’s economy, environment, and health.

1. Greener Synthetic Pathways
This focus area involves implementing a novel, green pathway for a new chemical product or material. It may also involve using a novel, green pathway to redesign the synthesis of an existing product. Examples include synthetic pathways that:
– Use greener feedstocks or reagents that are innocuous or renewable (e.g., biomass, natural oils).
– Use novel catalysts, including biocatalysts.
– Are natural processes, such as fermentation or biomimetic
– Are atom-economical.
2. Greener Reaction Conditions
This focus area involves improving conditions other than the overall
design or redesign of a synthesis. Examples include reaction conditions that:
– Replace hazardous solvents with reaction media that have a reduced impact on human health and the environment.
– Use solvent free reaction conditions and solid-state reactions.
– Use novel processing methods.
– Eliminate energy or material-intensive processing (e.g.,
separation and purification).
– Improve energy efficiency, including reactions running closer to
ambient conditions.
– Develop novel catalysts which are more efficient and robust.
3. Design of Greener Chemicals and Materials
This focus area involves designing and deploying chemical products or materials that are less hazardous than the products or technologies they replace. Examples include chemical products or materials that are:
– Less toxic to humans or animals than current products.
– Inherently safer with regard to accident potential.
– Recyclable or biodegradable after use.
– Safer for the atmosphere (e.g., do not deplete ozone or form
4. Design and Implementation of Greener Processes
This focus area involves designing and deploying a process where hazardous and/or toxic chemicals and materials are reduced or eliminated such that the resulting process will be environmentally benign, economically sound, and implementable, while still ensuring product quality. Examples include designing and implementing:
– Greener processes or technologies in the market.
– Cleaner chemical manufacturing processes.
– Green analytical methods.
– Cleaner electroplating and automotive coating processes.
– Elimination or reduction of chemicals containing waste, such as
water waste.
– Cleaner pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.
5. Education or Advocacy of Green Chemistry
This focus area involves educating or advocating for the advancement of green chemistry in Michigan. Examples include:
– Curriculum development or advocacy of curriculum.
– Integrating green chemistry into science education.
– Advocating for green chemistry adoption.

Award Categories

Awards are available in the following categories. Note that not all focus areas are open for each award category.

1.     Small Business (Focus Areas 1,2,3,4)

2.     Business (Focus Areas 1,2,3,4)

3.     Academic (Focus Areas 1,2,3,4)

4.     Education (Focus Areas 1,2,3,4,5)

5.     Public (Focus Areas 1,2,3,4,5)

Note: Students: Students are eligible to participate in the Student Poster Competition that will be a part of a poster session open to all at the 2014 Michigan Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference. Details of the contest and poster submission process can be found at

Award Winners

To date, there have been four successful Michigan Green Chemistry Governor’s Awards Program, in:

Click on the year to read about the Award Winners.

Video broadcast by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to the 2013 Michigan Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and Michigan Green Chemistry Governor’s Awards Ceremony.

Other Green Chemistry Award Programs

U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge (U.S. EPA Green Chemistry Program)

ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry (American Chemical Society)

Canadian and Ontario Green Chemistry and Engineering Awards (Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Network)

Green & Sustainable Chemistry (GSC) Awards and Student Travel Grants (The Green & Sustainable Chemistry Network, Japan)

Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (Royal Australian Chemical Institute)

The European Sustainable Chemistry Award (European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences)

Green Chemistry Award (Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom)