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Safer Choice

Design for the Environment Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative

Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative logo

What Is the Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative?

Through the Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative (SDSI), EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) Program recognizes environmental leaders who voluntarily commit to the use of safer surfactants. Safer surfactants are surfactants that break down quickly to non-polluting compounds and help protect aquatic life in both fresh and salt water. Nonylphenol ethoxylates, commonly referred to as NPEs, are an example of a surfactant class that does not meet the definition of a safer surfactant.

The DfE Program has identified safer alternative surfactants through partnerships with industry and environmental advocates. CleanGredients® is a source of safer surfactants and can be found at www.CleanGredients.org. Exit

How businesses are recognized

Champion is the highest level of recognition offered under SDSI. At this level, the participant is listed on the EPA SDSI website as a Champion and may use a special logo in their literature to help explain their participation in the program. The Partner category provides recognition of significant accomplishment towards the use of safer surfactants. Partners will be listed on the EPA SDSI website and may be granted recognition as Champions in the future.

Who is eligible for recognition?

EPA's DfE Program recognizes businesses engaged in the production or use of surfactants, as well as those involved in the purchase or distribution of products containing surfactants. Others, including not-for-profit organizations, may qualify through actively encouraging the use of safer surfactants.

How do I apply for recognition?

An application for recognition is available for download. The application includes the criteria for Champion and Partner status.

DfE is accepting applications for the program and will review them and make recognition decisions on a rolling basis. Applicants should not be concerned if any of the materials refer to specific past dates; the materials were developed for the first round of SDSI, but still contain the guidance needed to apply to the program.

If you would like more information, please contact David Difiore (difiore.david@epa.gov).

SDSI Champions

Champion is the highest level of recognition offered under SDSI. Champions may use the SDSI logo in their literature to help explain their participation in the program. The SDSI Champions are listed below.

SDSI Champions in each of the following categories have achieved:

Chemical Manufacturers

  • Demonstrated the manufacture of only safer surfactants
  • Documented a strategy for ensuring the manufacture of only safer surfactants

Product Formulators

  • Demonstrated the use of only safer surfactants in products
  • Documented a strategy for ensuring that only safer surfactants are used in products

Retailers/Distributors

  • Demonstrated that only safer surfactants are included in products intended for sale
  • Documented a strategy for ensuring that only safer surfactants are included in products intended for sale

Institutional Purchasers

  • Demonstrated the purchase of products containing only safer surfactants
  • Documented a strategy for ensuring that purchased products contain only safer surfactants

Others

  • Demonstrated outstanding efforts to encourage the use of safer surfactants

SDSI Partners

Partners are recognized for significant accomplishments towards the use of safer surfactants. Partners may be granted recognition as a Champion in the future, if appropriate. The SDSI Partners are listed below.

SDSI Partners in each of the following categories have achieved:

Product Formulators

  • Committed to manufacturing only safer surfactants by a date that is reasonable for the organization’s circumstances
  • Documented a strategy for ensuring the manufacture of only safer surfactants

Retailers/Distributors

  • Committed to using only safer surfactants in products by a date that is reasonable for the organization’s circumstances
  • Documented a strategy for ensuring that only safer surfactants will be used in products

Institutional Purchasers

  • Committed to using products containing only safer surfactants by a date that is reasonable for the organization’s circumstances
  • Documented the active encouragement of the use of safer surfactants

Others

  • Documented the active encouragement of the use of safer surfactants