WASHINGTON (Sept. 24, 2021) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing 33 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners across 16 states and the District of Columbia for achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals, as part of Pollution Prevention Week. Among the winners were the American Cleaning Institute of Washington, D.C., and the Household and Commercial Products Association, also of Washington, D.C.
Now in its 7th year, the Safer Choice Partner of the Year award helps consumers and purchasers for facilities, such as schools and office buildings, find products that perform and are safer for human health and the environment. This year’s awardees have all shown a commitment to pollution prevention by reducing, eliminating or preventing pollution at its source prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal.
“Today, we recognize the leadership and accomplishments of Safer Choice partners and stakeholders for their work helping consumers and commercial buyers identify products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “Additionally, I’m excited to see that the work done by many of this year’s awardees support the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of addressing climate change and advancing environmental justice.”
American Cleaning Institute, Washington, D.C.
American Cleaning Institute (ACI) is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Supporter. ACI is a trade organization that represents the U.S. cleaning product supply chain. In 2020, ACI contributed toxicological reviews that resulted in eight chemicals being added to EPA’s Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL) and was the first non-manufacturer to do so. ACI’s news media coverage featuring the Safer Choice program generated a total potential reach of 11.2 million people in 2020 and highlighted that “Adding chemicals to SCIL encourages innovation and growth in safer products, increases markets for manufacturers and helps protect people and the environment.”
“Many ACI member companies have products and chemistries that are recognized by the EPA Safer Choice program. The SCIL allows manufacturers the ability to offer best-in-class safer chemicals to the market that carry the robust third-party verification of the EPA,” said Melissa Hockstad, ACI’s President & CEO. “ACI is proud to have supported the program for the last decade through ongoing work with EPA staff, including the advocacy of science-based principles for ingredient and product criteria.”
ACI also partnered with the Good Housekeeping Institute to host their first-ever cleaning summit, which included a panel on ingredient transparency that discussed how the Safer Choice program helps consumers find products with safer ingredients. Good Housekeeping shared the Summit with its more than 782,000 newsletter subscribers. Safer Choice commends ACI for their dedication to supporting the SCIL and the Safer Choice program.
Household & Commercial Products Association, Washington, D.C.
The Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA) is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Supporter. HCPA is a trade association representing companies that manufacture and sell products used for cleaning, protecting, maintaining and disinfecting homes and commercial environments. In 2020, HCPA continued its support of the Safer Choice program by bringing stakeholders together from across HCPA’s membership virtually to strengthen Safer Choice, encourage more HCPA members to get their products certified by Safer Choice, and engage in discussions with Safer Choice staff about improvements to the program. For example, HCPA convened aerosol product manufacturers and suppliers to discuss how aerosol propellant technology fits into the Safer Choice Standard. Safer Choice commends HCPA for its commitment to educating its membership and the public about safer chemical ingredients.
“HCPA is extremely proud to be recognized as an EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year – and for the sixth time in seven years,” said Steve Caldeira, President & CEO, HCPA. “The Safer Choice program has been, and continues to be, an invaluable resource for the household and commercial products industry by working with companies to develop innovative products that possess an excellent environmental, health, and safety profile. With climate change and environmental justice emerging as top priorities for the EPA this year, HCPA is excited to facilitate productive dialogue between industry and the Agency to achieve these and other public policy goals.”
Applicants for this year’s awards were encouraged to show how their work with safer chemistry promotes environmental justice, bolsters resilience to the impacts of climate change, results in cleaner air or water, or improves drinking water quality. The work of many of the organizations being recognized today addressed climate change, including by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, several awardees have worked to increase access to products with safer chemical ingredients in underserved communities. In the coming year, EPA hopes to build on this work by expanding the Safer Choice program to make products containing safer chemicals increasingly available to underserved communities, including communities of color and low-income communities.
The 2021 Partner of the Year award winners represent a wide variety of leadership organizations from each of the 10 EPA regions. These include businesses, comprising small- and medium-sized companies and women-owned companies; state and local governments; non-governmental organizations; associations; and others.
More information about all the 2021 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners and summaries of their accomplishments is available at: http://www.eap.gov/saferchoice/safer-choice-partner-year-awards.