EPA Region 4 Announces 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award Winners
ATLANTA (November 1, 2022) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 office is recognizing three Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners for achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals.
The Safer Choice program 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. In support of the Biden-Harris Administration goals, EPA encouraged submission of award applications that show how the applicant’s work in the design, manufacture, selection and use of those products promotes environmental justice, bolsters resilience to the impacts of climate change, results in cleaner air or water or improves drinking water quality.
"We are proud to recognize the Home Depot in Georgia, Novozymes North America in North Carolina, and the ODP Corporation in Florida for their commitment to promote and manufacture safer chemicals," said EPA Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. “Their achievements as a Safer Choice Retailor, Innovator, and Distributor provide consumers and commercial buyers with products that are safer for communities and the environment.”
The Home Depot, Atlanta, Ga.
The Home Depot is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Retailer. In 2021, The Home Depot relaunched their Eco Options website as Eco Actions to emphasize their commitment to the environment. Safer Choice-certified products are included as a subcategory within the Eco Actions Responsible Chemistry category. The Home Depot also increased its offerings of Safer Choice-certified products, from 173 products in 2020 to 185 in 2021. The Home Depot’s website features Safer Choice-certified products, many of which have labels on the front of the products, making the Safer Choice label visible to website users. The company also raises awareness of the Safer Choice label by displaying it on product lifestyle images and through in-store signage. This exposure reaches an estimated 21 million individuals per week. Safer Choice applauds The Home Depot’s dedication to selling products with safer chemical ingredients.
Novozymes North America, Raleigh, N.C.
Novozymes is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Innovator. In 2021, Novozymes added six ingredients to CleanGredients, a database of chemical ingredients pre-approved for use in Safer Choice-certified products. Novozymes supported 12 requests made by formulators and brand owners for certification of formulations by the Safer Choice program. The company also ran a survey of 1,000 consumers in the United States to gather data on consumer perception of Safer Choice as the most trustworthy certification on laundry products. Novozymes provided this information to formulators to help them understand how Safer Choice certification enables commercial success. To build awareness of the Safer Choice program, Novozymes promoted the Safer Choice program and their Safer Choice-certified products on its website and social media channels. Novozymes showed its commitment to EPA’s goal of addressing climate change by working to reduce carbon emissions. Novozymes has also committed to ensuring zero waste by 2030. The company is well on its way to this goal, with a recycling rate of non-biomass waste at 62% in 2021, compared to 48% in 2020. Safer Choice commends Novozymes work to manufacture safer chemicals in a sustainable manner.
The ODP Corporation, Boca Raton, Fla.
The ODP Corporation (ODP), formerly Office Depot, is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Distributor. As part of ODP’s stewardship, the company supports the responsible use of chemicals. This commitment extends to all the products it sells, including private and other brands, the packaging for those products, and the manufacturing processes for those products. The company seeks to phase out chemicals of concern and improve the general management of chemicals. ODP has focused on green procurement and sales by providing products that are energy efficient, use recycled content, and certified by Safer Choice and other third-party ecolabels. ODP recently launched a new line of products that are Safer Choice-certified. These products are available as concentrates and can be filled in a reusable bottle, reducing waste. This supports EPA’s goal of addressing climate change. Safer Choice applauds ODP’s commitment to safer and sustainable products.
EPA’s Safer Choice program is hosting the 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards Ceremony and Partner and Stakeholder Summit in Arlington, Virginia on November 1-3. The public is invited to attend one or both events in person or virtually. Register at https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-choice-partner-year-awards-ceremony-and-partner-and-stakeholder-summit-2022.
More information on the 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners and summaries of their accomplishments are available at: http://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-choice-partner-year-awards.
For more information on the Safer Choice program, visit https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice.