Companies from around the world to be honored for their commitment to stewardship, community, and sustainability during a week of celebration highlighted by a gala banquet.

The judging is complete. The winners have been selected. Celebration Week is less than three months away.

Now in its 27th year, the Environmental Respect Awards (ERA) program, presented by AgriBusiness Global™ and CropLife® magazines with the support of DuPont Crop Protection, culminates with an award banquet at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, DE, July 20. Winners from around the world will hoist high their trophies in recognition of their dedication to environmental stewardship.

For nearly three decades, DuPont Crop Protection has sought to recognize those farm supply retailers who understand the importance of partnering with their customers to produce a more sustainable product and a safe and healthy environment for their workers and their community.

Those companies that do it well are invited to apply for recognition in the ERA program.

2017 ERA judges and support team: First row, left to right: Eric Sfiligoj, Meister Media; Cassidy Grinsell, DuPont; Sue Betteley, Meister Media; Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian; Laura Dotterer, DuPont; Jim Sulecki, Meister Media; Imad Saab, CropLife America. First step: Bill Qualls, ResponsibleAg; Paul Schrimpf, Meister Media; 2nd step: Brian Reuwee, Ag Retailers Association; Jonathan Clark, DuPont; Don Cameron, Terranova Ranch. Top: Ray Forney, DuPont. Missing from photo: Dan Jacobs, Meister Media.

But it’s a long journey from application to celebration. Each company goes through a rigorous review process, and the competition seems to get tougher with each iteration.

“The difficulty of the judging, distinguishing between so many outstanding entries with great evidence, increases every year,” says Dr. Ray Forney, Product Stewardship Manager at DuPont Crop Protection. “We designed ERA as a way for companies to benchmark their environmental stewardship programs. It’s rewarding for us to see companies around the world embracing the program, incorporating the concepts of sustainability into their daily practice, and sharing it with their communities.”

The judges spent two-and-a-half days sequestered in the offices of Meister Media Worldwide in Willoughby, OH, reviewing applications from more than 200 companies. To earn recognition as a winner in the Environmental Respect Award program, applicants must prove their dedication to a number of environmental and safety standards:

  • Demonstration of leadership in compliance, proper application, and facility safety and security
  • Display of concern for customer service and safety, and promotion of environmental stewardship among customers
  • Active participation in environmental stewardship and in safety education for employees, customers, and the community. In addition they must show:
    • Community outreach
    • Physical plant improvements
    • Innovative technology
    • Waste minimization
    • Emergency response readiness
    • Product safety/proper-use education
    • Personal commitment
    • Best management practices
    • Employee education, training, and continuous improvement

The panel of judges included the following: Dr. Ray Forney, Global Stewardship Manager, DuPont; Jonathan Clark and Laura Dotterer of DuPont; Bill Qualls, Responsible Ag; Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian, a past ERA winner; Brian Reuwee, Ag Retailers Association; Don Cameron, Terranova Ranch; and Dr. Imad Saab, CropLife America. CropLife® Magazine Editor, Eric Sfiligoj, and Dan Jacobs, Editor of AgriBusiness Global™ magazine also participated in the judging.

Judges selected winners at several levels, including regional winners and country champions. Several of the top companies from around the world are invited to Wilmington, DE, for Celebration Week, which includes visits to Longwood Gardens, the DuPont family home, and several other sites in the area.

Both CropLife® and AgriBusiness Global™ will feature articles on the winning companies in upcoming issues.