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PRESS RELEASE | ADEQ Welcomes New VESP Members


ADEQ Welcomes 99 New Members of Voluntary Environmental Stewardship Program in 2023 & Encourages Community Nominations

PHOENIX (Jan. 11, 2024) — The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) proudly recognizes 99 new members of its Voluntary Environmental Stewardship Program (VESP) in 2023. A heartfelt thanks is extended to our current 433 committed members, marking the highest count of active participants in the program's nine-year history. Their combined efforts consistently advance environmental stewardship throughout Arizona.

“The heart of ADEQ’s Voluntary Environmental Stewardship Program (VESP) lies in its amazing members, whose dedication serves as the driving force behind our shared commitment to environmental excellence,” said ADEQ Cabinet Executive Officer Karen Peters. “Their commitment not only helps safeguard our environment but also extends a helping hand to others within our community, showcasing the true spirit of VESP.” 

VESP recognizes and celebrates the exceptional efforts of Arizona businesses, volunteer organizations, communities, non-profits and individuals who go the extra mile for our environment. Beyond acknowledgment, VESP also serves as an inspiration, encouraging best practices and positive contributions to the air we breathe, water we drink and the land where we live. The program features five tiers of commitments to environmental excellence advancing from Copper to Bronze to Silver to Gold to Platinum | Learn about each VESP level >

ADEQ encourages Arizonans to actively participate in VESP by nominating individuals, companies, or organizations in their local community who are making remarkable contributions to Arizona's environment. To nominate an individual, business or other organization for VESP consideration, simply email the following information to VESP | Email Nomination >

  • Your name and contact information
  • Nominee name and contact information
  • Reason for your nomination (please include a sentence about the nominee’s environmental achievements/stewardship)
  • Any relevant website links, documents, photos, etc. 

“As we proudly celebrate the highest membership count in the Voluntary Environmental Stewardship Program’s nine-year history, ADEQ is excited to witness the continued growth of the program through these new community nominations,” said ADEQ VESP Coordinator Len Drago. “By nominating deserving individuals, companies and organizations, you can help expand environmental stewardship and create a lasting impact on Arizona's environment and the well-being of all those who call our state home.”

Two outstanding examples of Copper level environmental stewardship in 2023 include:

The Caring Angels, Inc.: Recognized for their outstanding efforts, The Caring Angels have diverted more than 153,000 plastic bags from landfills, preventing over 1,000 years of decomposition time. These dedicated individuals transform the bags into mats for veterans, showcasing a commitment to both environmental sustainability and community service. 

Save the World.Compost: In Tucson, an amazing group of children, operating under the name ‘Save the World.Compost,’ started their own composting business. The youngest member is only seven years old. Together, they actively collect food scraps from neighbors, process them using a composting tumbler and distribute the nutrient-rich soil back to the community.

For additional details about the ADEQ VESP, please visit the VESP webpage | Visit Page >


ADEQ Public Information Officer
Ph: 602-540-8072 (cell) 
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ADEQ Main Office
1110 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

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