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Two Illinois companies win 2020 EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award

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Ben Weiss (

CHICAGO (September 24, 2020) - Today, as part of Pollution Prevention (P2) week, the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) is recognizing two Illinois companies as Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners. Jelmar, LLC in Skokie and PurposeBuilt Brands, formerly Weiman Products in Gurnee are among 18 Safer Choice award winners across 10 states and the District of Columbia being recognized for achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals which furthers outstanding or innovative source reduction. 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.

“We are pleased today to be recognizing the leadership and accomplishments of a diverse array of organizations over the past year,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn. “This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Pollution Prevent Act and the awardees have all contributed to source reduction, also known as pollution prevention, through the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals.”

“EPA’s Safer Choice program recognizes businesses that help make it easier for consumers to find products that are safer for communities and the environment,” said Regional Administrator Kurt Thiede. “The work of Jelmar and PurposeBuilt Brands highlights the important role that companies have in educating the public and making these environmentally-friendly products available.”

Jelmar, a woman-owned cleaning product manufacturer, is being recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Formulator-Product Manufacturer. This is the sixth consecutive year the company is being recognized as a part of the program. Jelmar includes the Safer Choice label on the front of its Safer Choice-designated products and features it in promotional content and efforts to demonstrate its commitment to making products with safer ingredients. Jelmar manufactures a total of 20 product types across its consumer and professional lines of products, 11 of which are Safer Choice-certified products. 

“It’s an honor to be recognized as a 2020 EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award winner,” said Alison Gutterman, CEO and President of Jelmar. “We have been committed partners with the EPA since 2005 and strive to evolve and develop our products with the safety of the environment and our customers’ front of mind. While using EPA-approved ingredients, we’ve continued to maintain a standard of strong and effective products.”

PurposeBuilt Brands, a cleaning product manufacturer, is being recognized for a 2019 corporate-wide sustainability initiative that highlighted their new Safer Choice partnership as an essential component. PurposeBuilt evaluated all products in their seven consumer brand portfolios to determine which products could be submitted as Safer Choice “as is” and which needed to be reformulated for submission. Throughout 2019, they reformulated numerous products and had three products certified as Safer Choice. PurposeBuilt Brands featured the Safer Choice label prominently on the front packaging of these certified products and on e-commerce channels.

“Several years ago, we launched a corporate-wide sustainability initiative. One of our key focus areas is product stewardship, how can we make our products better for not just the environment, but for our consumers too,” said PurposeBuilt Brands Marketing Director Heather Gaspar. “Safer Choice was the perfect partner to help in setting guidelines for our products to follow and the Safer Choice team has been an incredible partner in helping us achieve our sustainability goals.”

The 2020 Partner of the Year award winners represent businesses, including woman-owned, and small- and medium-sized; federal and local government; and associations. More information on the 2020 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners and summaries of their accomplishments are available at: