April is a busy time for Energy Star, the 24-year-old conservation program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which spotlights resource-efficient products and services for consumers.
This month, as it does every April in concert with Earth Day, the program lauded select businesses for their environmental efforts, and the major appliance category was no exception.
Joining this year’s 149 Energy Star Award winners were some very familiar majap merchants and manufacturers, including Best Buy, the Nationwide Marketing Group, The Home Depot and Sears on the retail side, and LG, Samsung and Whirlpool among the vendors.
All four retailers are longtime Energy Star Partners, and this year each received Sustained Excellence Awards — the highest form of Energy Star recognition — for their “continued leadership in protecting our environment through superior energy efficiency achievements,” EPA said.
Among them, Sears was cited for promoting energy-efficient laundry pairs and GE’s super-efficient heat pump electric water heaters; for launching a new training program for sales associates that emphasizes the benefits of energy-efficient majaps; and for redoubling its marketing and utility partnership efforts.
For their part, Nationwide’s member dealers ran more than 10,000 campaigns featuring Energy Star-certified products during the Black Friday and Presidents Day promotional periods, EPA said.
“It’s exciting to see the impact we’ve made through our strong partnerships with vendors, enabling us to drive the sales of Energy Star-qualified models and cause the retirement of older, less-efficient major appliances and consumer electronics,” said Nationwide marketing senior VP Rick Weinberg. “We remain committed to continuing our work to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.”
On the vendor side, LG and Samsung also received Sustained Excellence honors, while LG earned the additional Climate Communicator Award for its efforts at raising consumer awareness of climate change and its impact. Those efforts included what EPA described as “a breakthrough campaign” with Best Buy on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” promoting Energy Star’s “Flip Your Fridge” initiative, which encourages consumers to recycle their old, energy-hogging refrigerators and replace them with new, efficient models.
Also returning as an Energy Star partner is Whirlpool, which received the Product Brand Owner Award — its 25th Energy Star honor — for its “outstanding contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by manufacturing energy-efficient kitchen and laundry appliances,” and for being a leader in educating consumers and training retailers about energy efficiency.
Since its inception in 1992, Energy Star and its partners have helped prevent a total of more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and provided more than $11 billion in societal benefits due to reducing damages from climate change in 2014 alone.
The awards were formally bestowed at a ceremony last week in Washington.