EPA Announces 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award Winners
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On November 1, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced 26 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners, recognizing their achievements in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals. The awardees represent a wide variety of organizations, including small- and medium-sized businesses, women-owned companies, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and trade associations.
EPA encouraged applicants for the 2022 awards to show how their work advances environmental justice, bolsters resilience to the impacts of climate change, results in cleaner air or water, or improves drinking water quality. According to EPA, many of the organizations being recognized are working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and combat the climate crisis. For example, several winners offer products with concentrated formulas that reduce water consumption and plastic use. This practice also lowers GHG emissions by reducing the amount of product that must be transported.
EPA states that additionally, many awardees increased access to products with safer chemical ingredients in underserved and overburdened communities. For example, one nonprofit winner conducted targeted outreach in both English and Spanish to promote safer cleaning techniques and products, including Safer Choice-certified products, in food trucks. Many of these businesses are owned and operated by immigrant entrepreneurs. Another winner made its Safer Choice-certified product line more accessible to lower income shoppers by offering affordable prices and making these products available at retailers that often serve low-income communities.
In early 2023, EPA intends to build on this work by announcing a grant opportunity for projects that can increase supply and demand for safer, environmentally preferable products such as those certified by the Safer Choice program or identified by EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program.
The 2022 winners include:
- American Cleaning Institute, District of Columbia;
- The Ashkin Group, LLC, Channel Islands Harbor, California;
- Bona US, Englewood, Colorado;
- Case Medical, Bloomfield, New Jersey;
- Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Ewing, New Jersey;
- Clean Safety & Health in Food Trucks (CleanSHiFT) Team, Seattle, Washington;
- The Clorox Company, Oakland, California;
- Colgate-Palmolive, New York, New York;
- Design for the Environment Logo Redesign Coalition: Environmental Defense Fund, The Natural Resources Defense Council, The Clorox Company, The Procter & Gamble Company, and Reckitt;
- Dirty Labs Inc., Portland, Oregon;
- ECOS, Cypress, California;
- Grove Collaborative, San Francisco, California;
- The Hazardous Waste Management Program, Seattle, Washington;
- Holloway House, Inc., Fortville, Indiana;
- The Home Depot, Atlanta, Georgia;
- Household & Commercial Products Association, District of Columbia;
- Jelmar, LLC, Skokie, Illinois;
- Lemi Shine, Austin, Texas;
- LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, San Francisco, California;
- Mother Africa, Kent, Washington;
- Novozymes North America, Raleigh, North Carolina;
- The ODP Corporation, Boca Raton, Florida;
- The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio;
- PurposeBuilt Brands, Gurnee, Illinois;
- Sensitive Home, Greenbrae, California; and
- Solutex, Sterling, Virginia.