Earth Friendly Products, the maker of ECOS™ environmentally friendly cleaning products and a global leader in environmental protection, has earned California’s highest environmental honor, the Governor’s Environmental & Economic Leadership Award (GEELA).

One of twelve California organizations recognized this year, the maker of ECOS, received the honor on Thursday at the California Environmental Protection Agency office in Sacramento. The GEELA acknowledges individuals, organizations and businesses that “demonstrate exceptional leadership and make notable, voluntary contributions toward conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state economy.”

A prior GEELA recipient in 2010, Earth Friendly Products received this year’s award in the category of Sustainable Practices, Communities or Facilities. The company was recognized for its pioneering efforts in sustainable manufacturing that integrate environmental values and the conservation of natural resources. “We are honored to be recognized with the Governor’s Award,” said Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, president and CEO. “I’m very proud of our entire team at Earth Friendly Products who have worked so hard to achieve carbon neutrality, water neutrality and Platinum Zero Waste certification at all four of our facilities across the U.S. This award is a wonderful way to kick off the year as we celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2017.”

Watch Greek Reporter’s interview with Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks:

Dr. Nadereh Afsharmanesh, vice president of sustainability and education of Earth Friendly Products, says the company has a long-standing commitment to achieving the governor’s environmental goals. Dr. Afsharmanesh designs and implements the company’s sustainability programs, and she says there is a growing recognition that environmental protection and economic growth can go hand in hand. “It’s critical that businesses and policymakers in California work together to find sustainability and climate solutions that will make a positive difference for our families, our economy, and our future.”

The annual GEELA program is administered by the California Environmental Protection Agency and the Natural Resources Agency, in partnership with the Department of Food and Agriculture, Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, California Integrated Waste Management Board, and the State and Consumer Services Agency.