Friday, November 18, 2022

Environmental Justice: What if the fine\violation cut into annual corporate profits? Six California Entities Receive EPA Safer Choice Awards for Chemical Safety

What if the fine\violation cut into annual corporate profits?  

For starters and a minimum, say....20% of profits\revenue.

Would that reduce toxic and environmental contamination in disenfranchised communities?

If not.  Then we're constantly doing 'business as usual'.

Make the change.  Change the policy.

BEMA International

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Issued: Nov 17, 2022 (5:01pm EST)

Six California Entities Receive EPA Safer Choice Awards for Chemical Safety

Products with safer chemicals protect human health and advance environmental justice

Six California Entities Receive EPA Safer Choice Awards for Chemical Safety

Products with safer chemicals protect human health and advance environmental justice

 

Contact Information: John Senn, 415-972-3999, senn.john@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO (November 17, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected six entities based in California as Partners of the Year for the agency’s Safer Choice program, recognizing their achievements 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 containing chemical ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment.

“Safer Choice products, including the ones made by our Partners of the Year in California, help protect workers, families, communities, and the planet,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “EPA is pleased to recognize these six California partners for their support of safer chemistry and sustainability, advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to equity and environmental justice.”

The California-based awardees are:

ECOS (Cypress): A partner since 2008, ECOS increased its Safer Choice certified products by 7 percent to total 86 percent of its products and amplified the certification program through increased labeling and conferences in 2021. ECOS also diverted 740 tons of trash in 2021, significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions. 

“We’re truly honored that the EPA has recognized us again for our commitment to safer formulations, environmental justice, and climate action,” said ECOS President & CEO Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks. “We believe everyone has the right to a healthy home, and we’re working hard to make sure every shopper has access to safer, affordable cleaning products, no matter where they live.”

Grove Collaborative (San Francisco): In 2021, Grove added four new Safer Choice-certified products, all of which are cleaning concentrates sold in glass bottles. The company displays the Safer Choice label on its products and on product description pages on their website in a Safer Choice Spotlight Store created in 2021.

LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired (San Francisco): In 2021, LightHouse was awarded a private label contract to produce eight Safer Choice-certified products to be sold nationwide. The organization also partners with the National Institute for the Blind to sell Safer Choice-certified products, with 10 of their 14 products carrying the Safer Choice label.

“We are thrilled to yet again be one of the EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year recipients,” said San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Chief Operations Officer Brandon Cox: “It is a partnership that helps us to promote our mission of providing employment opportunities and career progression to people who are blind or have low vision living in The Bay Area. To be recognized and to know we have the EPA Safer Choice label gives further weight and credibility to this mission.”

Sensitive Home (Greenbrae): In 2021, Sensitive Home initiated 19 Safer Choice applications, including six concentrated spray products that would significantly reduce plastic distribution, and launched its own online store that displays the Safer Choice label in its marketing insert and media outreach efforts.

“Sensitive Home is thankful and humbled to be chosen as an EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year for the second year in our two-year existence,” said Gregory van Buskirk, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer for Sensitive Home. “Our mission has been to bring effective cleaning products to the most sensitive of users, and those aspirations align superbly with Safer Choice. We decided on day-one that we would not bring any of our products to the market without Safer Choice certification. As we continue to grow our fledgling brand, we look forward to many more years in partnership with EPA Safer Choice.”

The Ashkin Group, LLC (Channel Islands Harbor): In 2021, the Ashkin Group included Safer Choice in trainings for 15,000 frontline cleaning workers on using safer ingredients and reducing resource use and greenhouse gas emissions. The company recommended Safer Choice in dozens of articles and webinars throughout the year, as well as in key building certification programs to encourage procurement of certified cleaning products.

The Clorox Company (Oakland): In 2021, Clorox had 14 retail and two industrial and institutional Safer Choice products, increased its Safer Choice labeling by 150 percent, and reached 100 percent use of renewable energy in the United States and Canada. Clorox has been a Safer Choice partner since 2007 and helped EPA develop the new Design for the Environment logo while expanding its antimicrobial products with DfE logos from one to four registrations. 

 

The six California-based awardees are among 26 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners across 14 states and the District of Columbia for 2022. Applicants for this year’s awards were encouraged 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.

In early 2023, EPA will build on this work by announcing a grant opportunity as part of the $100 million Pollution Prevention grant program funded though the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  The grants can support increasing 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.

Learn more about the 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners and summaries of their accomplishments.

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter

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