Top EPA regional official tours environmentally innovative company in Green Island, NY Ecovative design wins EPA 2012 environmental quality award
New York, N.Y. -- With Earth Day approaching on Sunday, April 22, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator, Judith A. Enck today visited Ecovative Design in Green Island, New York to emphasize the important contributions to public health and the environment of businesses that make environmentally responsible products. Ms. Enck joined Ecovative CEO Eben Bayer and mycologist Sue Van Hook on a tour of the company, which makes biodegradable packing, construction, automotive and other products that are grown from the “roots” of mushrooms. The company was also recognized as a recipient of this year’s annual EPA Environmental Quality Award for creating a completely compostable polystyrene substitute for packing material called EcoCradle.
The EPA was an early supporter of the research conducted at Ecovative and awarded the company two Small Business Innovation and Research Grants totaling $295,000 in 2009 and 2010 to further develop biodegradable insulation and construction materials grown from mushrooms and agricultural byproducts.
“Ecovative’s successes demonstrate the strong connections between protecting our planet and bolstering the local economy,” said Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “By using remarkable ingenuity and adhering to a strong environmental ethic, the creators of this company have grown it into a thriving business. EPA is happy to recognize the environmental leadership of this capitol district business.”
Ecovative makes eco-friendly packaging, building materials and automotive products using materials that have a low environmental impact and are 100% biodegradable and renewable. Ecovative is celebrating its five year anniversary and has recently expanded into a new manufacturing facility that provides jobs for 42 employees. The company grows their materials from agricultural byproducts and mycelium, a fungal network of threadlike cells that are like the roots of mushrooms. In 5 – 7 days, in the dark, with no watering, and no petrochemical inputs, the mycelium digests the agricultural byproducts, binding them into a structural material. The mycelium acts like a natural, self assembling glue.
The EPA’s Environmental Quality Award recognizes individuals and organizations that have improved the environment and public health. For more information about EPA’s EQA awards, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region2/eqa/
For more information about Ecovative, visit: http://www.ecovativedesign.com.