The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revealed its 2019 Safer Choice Partner of the Year, and food retailers Albertsons Cos. and Wegmans Food Markets are among the honorees.
EPA commended Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons, which has been a Safer Choice Partner since 2012 and a Partner of the Year three times,“for its use of social media to raise awareness about cleaning products made with chemical ingredients that meet the Safer Choice program’s stringent health and safety requirements. In 2018, Albertsons Cos. worked with 28 influential bloggers who produced 63 content pieces that included information on its Safer Choice-certified products. The content on social media reached over 10.3 million consumers.”
“Responsible chemical stewardship remains a priority for our Own Brands team,” said Chad Coester, Albertsons’ SVP of own brands. “Our customers vote each time they shop with us on the importance of safer chemicals, and we take very seriously the responsibility and honor that comes with being named a Safer Choice Partner of the Year.” The private-brand Safer Choice-certified products on sale at the company’s banners include Open Nature Glass & Window Cleaner and Open Nature Dishwasher Rinse Aid.
Of Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans, which has been a Safer Partner since 2014 and a five-time consecutive award winner, the agency noted that in 2018, the grocer “introduced six new Safer Choice-certified products, bringing their total to 17 store-branded Safer Choice-certified products. Safer Choice recognizes Wegmans for educating consumers about products with chemical ingredients that meet Safer Choice criteria through their website, in-store teaching tables and displays, and direct-mail advertisements. Safer Choice also commends Wegmans for its commitment to transition all Wegmans-brand household cleaning products, laundry detergents, and dish detergents to Safer Choice-certified formulas.”
“We’ve committed to offering Safer Choice products because we believe it’s the right thing to do,” said David Tantillo, Wegmans’ category merchant. “Safer Choice certification makes it easy for consumers to find cleaning products that are safer for them, their families and the environment. Because of that, it is the seal of approval we want our customers to know, understand and trust.”
According to the retailer, it’s “transitioning all Wegmans brand household cleaning products, laundry detergents and dish detergents, where science allows, to EPA Safer Choice-certified formulas. The entire line of these products, approximately 46 in total, is being reformulated with the goal of offering a full range of Safer Choice mainstream cleaning products that effectively clean a home from top to bottom.”
The other 2019 Safer Choice Partners of the Year were BASF Home Care and I&I Cleaning Solutions, Berkley Green, Earth Friendly Products, Hazardous Waste Management Program, Holloway House Inc., Household & Commercial Products Association, Jelmar LLC, Lemi Shine, Procter & Gamble, RB (Reckitt-Benckiser), Seventh Generation and Solutex Inc.,
The awards recognize organizations for demonstrated leadership in advancing safer chemistry and products, and promoting the Safer Choice label. To qualify for the label, a product must meet EPA’s Safer Choice Standard, which includes stringent human and environmental health criteria.
With stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as New York-based meal-kit company Plated, Albertsons is No. 3 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States. Operating 100 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Massachusetts, family-owned Wegmans is No. 16 on PG’s Super 50 list.