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[[Image:|150px|Logo of INFORM, Inc.]]
Founded 1973
President Virginia Ramsey
Headquarters New York, NY, USA
Founder Joanna Underwood

INFORM, Inc. is a non-profit environmental organization based in New York City. Founded in 1973, INFORM has sought innovative technologies, strategies, and products that provide practical solutions to environmental and health-related problems.

INFORM has published more than 100 extensively-distributed reporyts covering chemical hazard prevention, solid waste prevention, extended producer responsibility, and sustainable transportation.[1] INFORM now seeks to use media, such as video, to educate the public about the environmental effects of various consumer products.


INFORM was founded in 1973 by Joanna Underwood in order to document the environmental impact of business practices and identify practical options for change. Although Underwood left INFORM in 2006, her stay was marked by many accomplishments.[2]

During 1976-1978, INFORM investigated the land sales industry. The investigation led to proposed consumer amendments in the Federal Interstate Land Sales Reform Act.[2]

In 1986, recommendations made by David Sarokin and Warren Muir, researchers at INFORM, resulted in the US EPA's creation of the Toxics Release Inventory.[3]

Another example of INFORM's impact on government policy was the federal 1990 Pollution Prevention Act. This piece of legislation was inspired by chemical research done by INFORM on the benefits of waste prevention.[2]

In 1995, INFORM published a Toxics Watch report, which revealed that a significant portion of the toxic waste released into the environment originates from consumer products instead of chemical manufacturing plants.[4]

In 2000, INFORM's Bus Futures report concluded that investment in natural gas buses is crucial in the development of cleaner buses and air.[2]

Between 2004 and 2005, INFORM had assisted more than 77 institutions in the Northeastern United States prevent more that 56,000 pounds of toxic chemicals from reaching the waste stream.[2]

The Secret Life Series[edit]

A major component of INFORM's Media Project, The Secret Life Series will consist of several videos examining the environmental impacts of commonly used everday items. The goal of this series is to increase awareness about the ways that production and consumption affect the environment and public health.

On January 17th, 2008, INFORM released The Secret Life of Cell Phones online. This video details the implications of disposed unrecycled cell phones and the benefits of recycling old cell phones. The video has reached an audience of over 25,000 people in 87 countries and has been discussed on over 50 blogs.[5] The Secret Life of Paper is the next video that INFORM is scheduled to release. Future videos in the series will deal with antibacterial soaps, jeans, and single-use plastic bottles.


INFORM has received many awards for its research on the environment:[6]

  • 1976: National Energy Foundation Award
  • 1987: US EPA Region 2 Environmental Quality Award
  • 1992: US EPA Administrator’s Award, given because of INFORM's national leadership in pollution prevention
  • 1992: US EPA Region 2 Environmental Quality Award
  • 1993: Federal Fleet Conversion Task Force, received for INFORM's staff service on its working group, which was established by an executive order made by President Bill Clinton
  • 1994: Consolidated Edison of New York’s Enlightened Energy Award, given for INFORM's energy conservation efforts
  • 1994: City Club of New York’s Earth Day Award, given for INFORM's leadership in finding solutions to the city’s municipal solid waste problem
  • 1997: American Society for Public Administration, New York Metropolitan Chapter’s Excellence in Public Service-Outstanding Organization Award


  1. ^ Who We Are, retrieved 2008-6-24  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e History, retrieved 2008-6-24  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ Too Little Toxic Waste Data New York Times, Oct 7, 1985, pg A31
  4. ^ Toxics Watch 1995 Executive Summary, retrieved 2008-6-24  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ INFORM Media, retrieved 2008-6-24  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  6. ^ Awards Received, retrieved 2008-6-24  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External Links[edit]