About Our Name

Our name tells the mission and goal of our organization in two words—Pure Earth.

However, prior to 2015 Pure Earth was known as the Blacksmith Institute, and is still called such in some of our project countries. When the organization was founded in 1999, the aim was to tackle toxic pollution problems in low- and middle-income countries that no one else wanted to touch. Doing so would involve going into the field and getting our hands dirty in some of the worst polluted places on the planet. Similarly, the blacksmith has a dirty job, putting his whole being, muscle and mind, into turning raw materials into useful products. Thus the name Blacksmith Institute was born.

While the mission and work of the organization remained unchanged throughout the years, the staff and board of directors felt the name needed too much explanation. So we went back to the drawing board. After many workshops and discussions, it was Dev Patel, the brilliant actor who played the hero in Slumdog Millionaire, who pushed us to choose Pure Earth.

Our name represents the work that we do each and every day. We go in to communities and assess toxic pollution in the environment. If results come back showing high levels toxins in the air, soil, water are adversely affecting the health of the residents, we develop a program to clean up the community. Cleaning up one community at a time brings us closer to a Pure Earth.