Encouraging Environmental Excellence (εз) Program

Recognizing organizations committed to environmental excellence.


The Encouraging Environmental Excellence (εз) program targets those who reduce waste, improve efficiency and work to continuously improve as an environmental steward.

The program has a three-level approach to provide recognition to Ohio businesses and other organizations completing environmentally beneficial activities, and escalates to higher levels of recognition for those who exceed regulatory requirements or commit to future environmental stewardship efforts.

View one page summary of the Ohio εз program

For more information, contact the Ohio EPA Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention at 1-800-329-7518.

Bronze Level

The bronze level is designed to recognize any entity completing environmentally beneficial activities. Any business, non-profit, government entity or other organization in Ohio may apply. Bronze level participants must have demonstrated significant progress in one of the following main criteria:

  • Impact to the Environment (Toxics and/or Waste Reduction); and/or
  • Resource Conservation

Bronze level participants must also demonstrate some level of progress in at least six of the additional criteria below and submit a general statement regarding their compliance standing:

  • Environmental Management Systems
  • Improvement in Environmental Performance
  • Voluntary or Non-Mandatory Initiative
  • Economic Benefits
  • Employee Involvement
  • Management Commitment
  • Promotion and Dissemination
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
  • Life Cycle Analysis
  • Environmental Management Accounting
  • Innovation

Bronze Level Benefits

  • a certificate of recognition signed by the director;
  • a listing on the Ohio EPA website;
  • program highlights published in the agency's Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention Newsletter; and
  • a decal with the Ohio εз logo to display at the applicant's location.

Bronze Level Key Dates

  • Initial Applications Received March 5, 2012
  • Application Cycle Continual (applications can be received continually throughout the year)
  • Duration of Recognition One-time (applicants can reapply annually if they complete new projects)

Download Bronze Application
Applications will be accepted on a continual basis and recognition will be provided through the mail. Exceptional bronze-level participants may be asked to apply for silver-level recognition.

Silver Level

The silver level recognizes businesses and others that have a good environmental compliance record and have completed environmental stewardship activities. Any business or other type of organization in Ohio may be nominated.

2014 Award Nominations are requested by June 28, 2013.

Silver Level Benefits

  • an εз flag to hang at the recipient's facility;
  • Ohio EPA news release touting the entity's environmental accomplishments;
  • invitation to an awards ceremony and possibly a site visit by the Ohio EPA director; and
  • a case study to publicize the recipient's proactive approach to environmental stewardship.

Silver Level Eligibility

The silver level is open to any business, industry, trade association, professional organization or local government of Ohio. Nominees may nominate their own organizations. Nominations by second parties are also welcome.

Silver Level Site Visit

Nominees receiving the highest scores based on the evaluation of nominations may be asked to host a site visit. The purpose of this site visit is to provide reviewers with a better understanding of the nomination, to view the nominated activities in operation and to clarify information provided in the nomination.

A team of two or more reviewers will conduct the site visit. Information collected during the site visit will be used to determine who receives awards. Evaluation criteria for the site visit will be the same as that used for the nomination. Photographs of the nominee's operations may be taken during the site visit to help promote the Encouraging Environmental Excellence Program and the nominated activities.

Silver Level Key Dates

  • Nominations Requested By
    June 28, 2013
  • Recognition Provided
    May 2014
  • Nomination Cycle
    Annual (nominations received once each year)
  • Duration of Recognition
    One year (recognition will be provided once each year)

Download Silver Application
Nominations will be accepted annually and will include both written and onsite evaluations. The number of nominations receiving silver level recognition will vary based on the number meeting the evaluation criteria.

Gold Level

The gold level is designed to recognize businesses that exceed regulatory compliance obligations and commit to long-term strategies to reduce waste, lower emissions and improve environmental performance. Any business in Ohio regardless of size may apply. To qualify for the gold level, applicants must:

  • Pass a comprehensive compliance check;
  • Implement and maintain an environmental management system (EMS); and
  • Commit to continuous environmental improvement by establishing and implementing annual goals related to waste/emission reductions or other environmental improvements.

Each gold-level participant completes an annual performance report that demonstrates to Ohio EPA and the public its environmental accomplishments over the year, its continued high level of environmental performance, and its maintenance of the membership criteria.

Gold Level Benefits

  • an εз flag to hang at the participant's facility;
  • Ohio EPA news release touting the entity's environmental accomplishments;
  • recognition at an awards ceremony and/or possibly a site visit by the Ohio EPA director;
  • a case study to publicize the recipient's proactive approach to environmental stewardship;
  • opportunity to work with Ohio EPA on regulatory and permitting flexibility options, potentially including expedited permit review, reporting flexibility, reduced inspection frequency and other options; and
  • annual members' meeting with Ohio EPA's director.

Regulatory Flexibility Options

Gold level members have the ability have to work with Ohio EPA to obtain regulatory flexibility for their operations. Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP) established contacts in the air, water and waste programs. OCAPP will work with these programs, the Ohio EPA’s Director’s Office and gold level members to determine what type of regulatory flexibility options are feasible. Gold level applicants are asked to make an initial identification of their preferred regulatory flexibility options as described in the gold level application instructions below. This will help Ohio EPA determine if changes to existing procedures, policies and regulatory programs are feasible for gold level members.

Download Gold Application

Download Gold Annual Performance Plan Instructions

Silver Level:

May 22, 2013 (click for MORE info)

  • Frito Lay - Wooster
  • GM Toledo
  • Marathon Petroleum Company’s Findlay Office Complex
  • Honda - Marysville, East Liberty, Anna, and Russells Point
  • Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB)
  • DRS Environmental Systems Inc. - Cincinnati

Bronze Level:

December 20, 2013 (click for MORE info)

  • Enginetics Corporation – Huber Heights (Montgomery County)
  • Ohio Dental Association – Columbus (Franklin County) 
  • Pull-A-Part, LLC – Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

September 20, 2013 (click for MORE info)

  • Pioneer Automotive Technologies, Inc. – Springboro (Montgomery County)
  • U.S.T. Environmental Contractor, Inc. – Baltimore (Fairfield County)
  • Cincinnati Marathon, Inc. DBA Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon – Cincinnati (Hamilton County)

July 16, 2013 (click for MORE info)

  • Agmet, LLC, Oakwood Village and Maple Heights (Cuyahoga County)
  • Bridgestone Americas Center for Research and Technology, Akron (Summit County)
  • USA Lamp & Ballast Recycling, Inc. Cincinnati (Hamilton County)

November 19, 2012 (click for MORE info)

  • GOJO Industries Inc. Cuyahoga Falls (Summit County)
  • Washing Systems LLC, Loveland (Hamilton, Clermont and Warren counties)
  • Multibase – A Dow Corning Company, Copley (Summit County)
  • Main Street Gourmet LLC, Cuyahoga Falls (Summit County)
  • Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at The Lodge At Geneva-On-The-Lake in Geneva State Park, Geneva (Ashtabula County)

In this video, Agency expert Mike Kelley talks about the Encouraging Environmental Excellence program, designed to recognize and encourage Ohio businesses to become better stewards of the environment.