Ashkin Praises Recent DfE Evaluation

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has just completed an evaluation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Labeling Program.

Audits by the OIG are routinely conducted at the EPA to identify areas where improvements can be made as well as to improve the agency’s transparency overall.

The EPA gave the DfE program a very good report card during the first investigative round to review the organization’s procedures and criteria. So good, in fact, that a second investigation was cancelled.

The Design for Environment (DfE) program was started in 1992.

Its key goal has been to evaluate the environmental impact of scores of different products, from the smallest ink cartridge to entire data centers to tools and equipment used in professional cleaning.

“The Design for the Environment program has been more than an evaluation or certification program,” says Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group and the industry’s leading advocate for Green Cleaning. “They have been innovators, working with companies large and small to decrease the amount of materials used in products, reducing waste, to using materials with lower environmental impact.”

Ashkin adds that the DfE is one of the best run programs within the EPA and he is not surprised it received such high marks from the OIG.

“I give both the Office of the Inspector General and the administrators of the DfE high-fives” says Ashkin. “The OIG looks under every rock to make sure the program is being run efficiently and funds [are] spent wisely…and the DfE is apparently meeting if not surpassing their expectations.”

The OIG report did make some recommendations to improve the operation of the DfE program but for the most part these focused on the development of a new logo for the organization as well as some changes to its website . . . many of which are already being accomplished.