News Release

American Chemical Society wins Environmental Excellence Award from D.C. mayor

Grant and Award Announcement

American Chemical Society

WASHINGTON, August 12, 2010 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) has won the 2010 Mayor's Environmental Excellence Award from Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. The annual award recognizes businesses and nonprofit organizations for their environmental stewardship, innovative best practices, pollution prevention, and resource conservation. ACS is the world's largest scientific society.

"The American Chemical Society is honored to receive Mayor Fenty's Environmental Excellence Award," said ACS Executive Director & CEO Madeleine Jacobs. "Representing 161,000 professional chemists worldwide, the Society believes it is critical that day-to-day business practice operate with the highest level of sustainability. From our comprehensive recycling program to our new 'green' roof, ACS is committed to a sustainable future."

Chosen from among 44 applicants, ACS was one of only nine recipients, and one of only two in the large facilities category. Five-hundred ACS staff work in the Society's two buildings in Washington, D.C., located at the corner of 16th and M Street, N.W. The Clifford & Kathryn Hach Building stands eight stories and was originally built in 1959; both the interior and exterior were renovated in 1994-1995. Directly behind the Hach Building stands the Donald F. Othmer Building, which was constructed in 1988 and includes 12 stories above ground.

"The Environmental Excellence Awards recognize the very best in sustainable commerce in the District of Columbia," Mayor Fenty said. "Every day, the winners demonstrate that taking care of the environment makes good business sense."

In the last seven years, ACS has prioritized sustainability in facilities management and achieved the prestigious U.S. Green Building Council gold certificate for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Existing Buildings. ACS facilities were the second in the District of Columbia to achieve this certification and were one of only 40 sites nationwide to meet this level of sustainability for operations and maintenance.

ACS has implemented more than 20 separate initiatives to greatly enhance sustainability. The Society purchases energy certificates to invest in 100 percent renewable energy resources. The net effect of this single effort has been to offset 4.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Both buildings are Energy Star compliant, and the energy load from the data center in the Hach Building is used to heat the condenser loop in the Othmer Building.

ACS uses low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints in its facilities, has installed water sensors both indoors and out, carpets its offices with recycled materials, installed light sensors throughout offices and conference rooms, and maintains a comprehensive recycling program in which 95 percent of waste and 100 percent of electronic goods leaving the building are recycled.

For a summary of ACS' sustainability efforts, visit:,a,1210,q,501455.asp

In addition to the facilities management initiatives above, the ACS Green Chemistry Institute promotes the implementation of green chemistry and engineering principles into all aspects of the chemistry enterprise. ACS has also engaged its staff to support the green mission by forming an ACS Greening Committee, which consists of staff members from across the organization who develop innovative ideas in sustainability that can be implemented among the Society's local sections across the nation and abroad.


The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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