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P3 Overview - People, Prosperity and the Planet

About P3 and the P3 Award Competition

P3 highlights people, prosperity, and the planet – the three pillars of sustainability – as the next step beyond P2 or pollution prevention.

The P3 project is a partnership between the public and private sectors to achieve the mutual goals of economic prosperity while protecting the natural systems of the planet and providing a higher quality of life for its people. The project is organized under the auspices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Launched in early 2004, the P3 Award competition provides grants to teams of college students and faculty to research, develop, and design sustainable solutions to environmental challenges. The competition is open to teams of undergraduate and/or graduate students attending U.S. colleges, universities and other post-secondary educational institutions.

Many of the projects selected for the P3 Award competition are aligned with standards-development activities. Each fall the EPA announces a new group of award recipients that will receive awards up to $10,000. The teams will research and develop designs that incorporate and support environmental and economic goals of sustainability.

Examples of the projects pursued within each of the five main categories include:

Design Category Sample Project
built environment
  • Constructing Sustainable Homes Following Natural Disasters
  • Growing alternative sustainable buildings: bio-composite products from natural fiber, biodegradable and recyclable polymer materials for load-bearing construction components
materials and chemicals
  • A Novel Environment Friendly Method for Expansion and Molding of Polymeric Foam
  • Minimizing the environmental impact of construction materials in playground design
  • Production of Biodiesel from Algae Applied to Agricultural Wastewater Treatment
  • The Effectiveness of Energy Generating Exercise Equipment for Energy Conservation Education
information technology
  • Development of a bi-national groundwater management model to provide a sustainable water supply within the El Paso/Juarez region
  • Drinking Water Purification for U.S.A. - Mexico Border Region
  • Development of a Sustainable and Appropriate Drinking Water System for Montana de Luz and Nueva Esperanza, Honduras

  For a complete list of 2009-2010 Award Recipients,
    please click here.

In the spring, the teams will be invited to bring their design projects to the National Mall in Washington, DC, to compete for the P3 Award. The National Academies will judge the competition. Winners of the P3 Award will be eligible for additional funds from EPA to match contributions from industry or non-governmental organizations to help further develop the design, implement the project in the field, and move the design to the marketplace.

P3 and Standards

On behalf of its members and constituents, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has joined with more than 40 partners in the federal government, industry, and scientific and professional societies to provide support for the design aspects of the P3 Award competition.

ANSI is serving as a standardization and conformity assessment resource for the student design teams. The online "Standards Resource Guide" can be used by the faculty and students who comprise the P3 design teams to locate specific standards information, training tools, and contacts at standards developing organizations

Members of the standards development community are encouraged to provide resources and assistance in providing educational and technical content that will help to support the design teams in their efforts.

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