EPA Announces 2021 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award Winners in the Pacific Northwest
SEATTLE, WA (September 22, 2021) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing 33 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners for achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals, as part of Pollution Prevention Week. This is the 7th annual Safer Choice Partner of the Year awards. Included in this year’s awards are eight winners in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
Tim Hamlin, Director of EPA’s Region 10 Land, Chemicals and Redevelopment Division, said, “We’re proud to recognize our outstanding local Safer Choice partners of the year. Their leadership and innovation in safer chemistry results in cleaner air and water for everyone living in the Pacific Northwest. We look forward to our continued partnerships to increase access to products that perform and are safer for people’s health and our environment."
When the Safer Choice label appears on a product, it means that EPA has evaluated every ingredient in the product for potential human health and environmental effects and that the product contains only ingredients that pose the least concern. Safer Choice certified products help consumers and commercial buyers identify products that meet performance standards and are made with safer ingredients.
Safer Choice Partner of the Year also recognizes organizations like the Sea Mar Community Health Centers Safer Choice certified awareness campaigns. Ninfa Quiroz, Community Relations Department Director of Sea Mar comments, “The team worked enthusiastically, staying strong in their commitment to educate the community to use Safer Choice certified cleaning products instead of toxic disinfectants.”
King County’s Hazardous Waste Management Program, a Safer Choice Partner of the Year, also taught individuals how to identify and use Safer Choice certified products, “We are committed to raising awareness of the value of products with chemical ingredients that meet Safer Choice criteria,” said Lynda Ransley, Program Director.
The Safer Choice program aims to encourage companies to develop effective products with safer chemical ingredients. Safer Choice Partner of the Year Defunkify, of Eugene, Oregon, is a leading green chemistry innovator. “At the root of our success is our ProvenSafe™ Process, a cutting-edge approach to formulation that uses Safer Choice approved ingredients as the building blocks for every Defunkify product we create. Together, we'll make every home cleaner, safer and more sustainable,” said Richard Geiger, CEO at Defunkify.
The 2021 Partner of the Year award winners represent a wide variety of leadership organizations from EPA Region 10. These include businesses, including small- and medium-sized companies; state and local governments; non-governmental organizations; associations; and others. The following organizations are being recognized:
- Albertsons Companies, Boise, ID
Albertsons Companies expanded their line of Safer Choice certified products by launching six Open Nature laundry detergent products and worked with cities and counties to identify opportunities to educate underserved households about safer cleaning and disinfecting products.
- Defunkify, Eugene, OR
Defunkify is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Formulator-Product Manufacturer and was also certified as Climate Neutral in 2020.
- Dirty Labs Inc., Portland, OR
Dirty Labs’ innovative formulating removed excess water so that their concentrated Safe Choice certified laundry detergent is more than five times smaller and lighter.
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Toxics Use Reduction Program, OR
Oregon DEQ developed innovative projects with goals of building a community that purchases safer products and directly supporting businesses in obtaining Safer Choice certification.
- Roger McFadden and Associates, LLC, Canby, OR
Roger McFadden and Associates designed 21 products to meet the Safer Choice criteria and helped three health care facilities replace eight cleaning products, with Safer Choice-certified products.
- Hazardous Waste Management Program, King County, WA
Hazardous Waste Management Program piloted a Safer Choice retail product mapping database that lists Safer Choice-certified products and information on the store where each product is sold.
- Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Seattle, WA
Sea Mar conducted trainings raising awareness of the Safer Choice label, how to identify a Safer Choice-certified product and changing cleaning practices to use safer cleaning products.
- University of Washington, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Continuing Education Programs, Seattle, WA
UW collaborated with its partners to publish a factsheet on best practices for safer cleaning and disinfecting to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Visit EPA's Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards for more information including summaries of this year's award winners and their accomplishments.