EWG’s Heather White Wins Sustainability Prize

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For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, November 17, 2015

WASHINGTON – EWG Executive Director Heather White has been named one of Green Building & Design Magazine’s top 20 women in sustainability leadership. 

“I am honored to receive the 2015 Women in Sustainability Leadership award and proud of our work to help people discover the truth about the environment around them,” White said, “including innocent-looking materials in their homes that may contain hidden dangers.”

"Thanks to my colleagues at EWG and many other environmentalists,"  White said, "playground equipment is no longer made with arsenic-soaked wood, plywood infused with formaldehyde is barred, and flooring is no longer routinely embedded with asbestos fibers.  But sustainability is more than building materials; it’s a powerful way to connect science, engineering, design, architecture, health and the natural world.”

Other 2015 award recipients include Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar, Lori Duvall, director of global impact at eBay and Arlene Blum, founder and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute. Click here to see the full list of recipients.

As executive director of EWG, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., White oversees a staff of 65 nationwide. EWG focuses on toxic chemicals and public health, land and water conservation, farm policy and subsidies, food and nutrition, responsible energy policies and numerous other issues.  White’s leadership in digital advocacy, fundraising and communications has transformed Washington and the marketplace. She has written and commented on sustainability issues for national and TV media outlets, including CBS This Morning, FOX News, The Washington Post and Ms. Magazine.

The judging panel for the 2015 Women in Sustainability Leadership awards included Chris Howe and Laura Heidenreich of Green Building & Design Magazine, Rochelle Routman of Mohawk Industries, Kimberly Lewis of the U.S. Green Building Council, and Charmaine Atherton of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“The ultimate goal of the awards is to create a global central hub that identifies and advances top-level female sustainability executives who can then, in turn, support younger women with dreams of reaching such levels of success,” said Chris Howe, publisher and chief executive officer of Green Building & Design Magazine.

The award focuses on the honorees' leadership philosophies. 

“The hero model of leadership is outdated,” White told the magazine. Leaders must empower everyone to be creative and come up with solutions. The monumental challenge of climate change and environmentally-related disease will require everyone’s best thinking.”

Past award winners include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Cindy Ortega, chief sustainability officer of MGM Resorts International; Arielle Bertman, principal of energy and sustainability at Google, and Daniele Horton, founder and principal of Verdani Partners.

White will receive her award Nov. 19 at the Greenbuild Conference & Expo in Washington D.C.