New ACS Award Encourages Sustainability Advocacy

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To encourage ACS members to get involved in sustainability policy issues, two ACS committees are collaborating to create a new ACS award. The ACS Committees on Environmental Improvement (CEI) and Chemistry & Public Affairs (CCPA) created a jointly-administered ACS ChemLuminary Award to encourage local sections and divisions to engage in projects that leverage ACS policy statements connected to sustainability. ACS units have the remainder of 2021 to organize and execute activities that will be eligible for consideration for the 2022 prize. ACS ChemLuminary awards recognize superlative efforts accomplished by ACS local sections, divisions, international chapters, or other ACS units.

The new CCPA-CEI ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Promotion of the Society’s Sustainability Position Statements will recognize a local section, technical division, international chapter, student chapter or regional meeting for an outstanding activity to advocate for, to promote, or to develop awareness of the Society’s Sustainability Position Statements and the role or influence of chemistry on their implementation.

The inaugural award will recognize an ACS unit for advocacy activities occurring in 2021 that promote one of the ACS sustainability policy statements:

  • Chemical Risk Assessment and Regulatory Decision Making
  • Climate
  • Critical Materials
  • Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Inherently Safer Technology
  • Regulation of Laboratory Waste 
  • Sustainability of the Chemistry Enterprise
  • Water Treatment and Conservation

“Given the shared priorities and goals of our two committees, the decision to collaborate on an award that recognizes ACS units for advocacy efforts that promote chemistry’s role in sustainability was a no-brainer,” says Dr. Chris Avery, CEI chair.  “CEI also provides mini-grants to support activities such as lectures, community events, and educational events, that would be eligible for the new ChemLuminary Award.”

 “We want to encourage ACS members to talk to policymakers about sustainability, and the role chemistry can play in informing the issues and creating solutions,” says Dr. Kevin Kuhn, CCPA chair. “ACS has a rich set of tools to support ACS members with advocacy -- is a good starting point.”

ACS groups considering advocacy activities are encouraged to reach out to the chairs of the two committees, who can connect them to further information and resources, at