Department of Ecology News Release - June 10, 2015

Ecology, Northwest Green Chemistry win EPA award
Safer Choice program promotes products with safer chemical ingredients

OLYMPIA – On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named the Washington Department of Ecology and Northwest Green Chemistry as 2015 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award winners for their ongoing support of EPA’s Safer Choice Program.

The Safer Choice Program helps consumers and businesses find products that are safer for families, workplaces, communities and the environment.

Ecology is a longtime supporter of Safer Choice, formerly known as Design for the Environment. The program offers manufacturers rigorous, transparent standards to demonstrate that their products contain the safest chemical ingredients available in order to qualify for the Safer Choice label. The Safer Choice program currently has nearly 500 formulator-manufacturer partners who make more than 2,000 products for retail and institutional customers, including household cleaners, degreasers and paints.

“Safer Choice is a terrific example of how government and industry can work together to reduce the use of toxic chemicals,” said Maia Bellon, Ecology’s director. “Just as the EPA’s Energy Star program helps consumers find energy-efficient products, Safer Choice makes it easy to find products with the safest possible ingredients.”

Ecology, working with Northwest Green Chemistry, offers technical assistance to Washington companies interested in participating in the Safer Choice Program, and works with all businesses and organizations to find safer alternatives to the toxic chemicals they use. Ecology’s own Safer Chemistry Champion Awards recognize Washington companies that have made a significant impact in green chemistry or cleaner manufacturing.

Northwest Green Chemistry (NGC) is an independent nonprofit that works to advance the use of safer chemicals in products and manufacturing processes. NGC partners with Northwest businesses, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations to foster innovation and in green chemistry and engineering.

EPA will present the awards at a ceremony in June 22 in Washington, D.C.  Ecology and NGC are among the 21 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners announced by the EPA for this year.


Andrew Wineke, communications, 360-407-6149, @ecologyWA