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Healthy Pet more than a name

Seth Preston, Oct. 11, 2016

FERNDALEHealthy Pet means it when the company says “sustainability without compromise.”

The Ferndale-area maker of natural pet products “has operated as an environmentally sustainable business since inception in 1985,” said Tim Etringer, Head of West Coast Manufacturing for Healthy Pet.

“Our culture of sustainability compels us to view every facet of our operations from a ‘zero waste’ perspective. We have implemented a stringent recycling program, reduced inter-plant transfers, chose energy-efficient shipping modes, eliminated industrial sewer usage, and closely monitor atmospheric solids,” he said.

In recognition of such efforts, the Northwest Clean Air Agency selected Healthy Pet to receive the 2016 Partners for Clean Air Platinum award for its outstanding work to reduce air emissions from its onsite operations and shipping.

“When businesses encourage a culture of environmental awareness within their own organization and go beyond the minimum necessary to comply with laws, everyone who breathes wins,” said Mark Buford, Northwest Clean Air Deputy Director. “At Northwest Clean Air Agency, we want to reward those businesses. We want to hold them up as an example to others, and we want to say ‘thank you.’”

In the past few years, Healthy Pet has:

  • Replaced an old sawdust burner with a low-nitrogen dioxide gas burner to reduce emissions of solids by more than a ton per year.
  • Switched to electric forklifts in place of liquid propane gas models.
  • Strictly enforced no-idle policies for trucks waiting to be loaded and unloaded.
  • Operated a zero-emission corporate car for business uses and leased energy-efficient front-end loaders to replace less-efficient models.
  • Increased use of intermodal transportation for its products and reduced the use of over-the-road trucking.
  • Instituted a “Towards Zero Waste” recycling program that drastically cut landfill waste.
  • Replaced 100% of their lighting with energy-efficient LED lighting.

“We are not done,” Etringer said. “Our efforts are under continuous review and we are always seeking to improve.”

Partners for Clean Air awards

Northwest Clean Air started presenting its Partners for Clean Air awards annually to businesses in Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties in 2010. Three levels are awarded: Platinum, Gold, and Silver. This year, 30 of more than 400 businesses registered with NWCAA received awards.

The agency selects the Platinum winner as the stand‐out business among the Gold award winners. Healthy Pet, which employs about 70 people at its Ferndale operation, received a plaque and recognition at a Northwest Clean Air board of directors meeting earlier this year.

To win Gold, businesses must comply with all applicable air quality regulations for at least three years and employ additional clean air practices in at least two of these categories: energy efficiency; emissions reductions; air pollution prevention practices related to their specific business sector; and transportation, such as reducing commute trips, having no‐idling policies and switching to cleaner vehicle fleets.

Details about the Gold winners’ clean air efforts are available on the Northwest Clean Air business recognition web page.

The 2016 Gold winners are:

To achieve Silver status, businesses must demonstrate 100 percent compliance with air quality regulations for at least three years. This year, 23 operations received the Silver award.

The Northwest Clean Air Agency is responsible for enforcing federal, state and local air quality regulations in Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties. In addition to permitting and regulating industrial sources of air pollution, the agency provides services and information related to asbestos, indoor air quality, outdoor burning, woodstoves and fireplaces. More information about the agency is available at