Editor’s note: 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of World Earth Day on April 22nd. That same month, we’ll be running a very special issue of Life in the Lab magazine to celebrate. Be sure to check back for more ways to think green!
As the leader in serving science, we enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer. This is achieved in part by taking a holistic view of the different ways we partner with our customers to advance our shared environmental sustainability goals. Taking a closed-loop approach, we are innovating sustainable solutions, from design to disposal.
We know laboratories are resource-intensive, using significantly more energy to operate than the average office building, and many scientists express concern regarding environmental sustainability and waste challenges in the lab.
Therefore, we’re working to improve our impact and help customers by:
- Designing products with the environment in mind in order to minimize the use of hazardous chemicals, minimize waste and material consumption, and increase energy efficiency
- Providing guidance for making purchasing decisions so that our customers can choose greener products while knowing they’ll still find the same commitment to quality, accuracy, and reliability they depend on
- Driving waste reduction programs at our 13 zero-waste certified sites and across all of our operations
- Constantly innovating new packaging and shipping solutions to minimize waste and to minimize our carbon footprint while upholding product protection standards
It’s all part of our effort to help laboratories impact the world in all the right ways, and our efforts are driving real results. Most recent examples include eliminating seven tons of glass bottles, diverting 50,000 kg of e-waste per year, and reducing the number of coolers used by 300,000 per year.
Resources for helping our customers identify more sustainable product solutions
We understand performance is of paramount importance when selecting the best product and we’ve undertaken the initiative to provide information to assist with identifying more sustainable choices.
Greener product alternatives
We offer 50 product lines that are part of our greener product alternatives program. By incorporating principles of green chemistry and green engineering into our product design, we provide product choices that can help advance sustainability in the lab by reducing the use of hazardous chemicals, minimizing waste and material consumption, increasing energy efficiency, and providing sustainable disposal solutions. This not only helps our customers to be more sustainable, but also helps improve lab safety and reduce costs. Our greener products can be easily identified with the green leaf badge and are accompanied by our data-driven green fact sheets.
As an example, our entire suite of Thermo Scientific™ ENERGY STAR® certified TSX series of refrigerators and freezers is highly energy efficient, while still offering advanced temperature control options to ensure samples are kept safe and secure. Specifically, our TSX ULT Freezers use 70% less energy have been shown to operate 25-42 percent more efficiently than conventional-refrigerant ultra-low temperature units. Many of our cold storage products are also produced at zero-waste certified manufacturing sites, which divert more than 90% of nonhazardous waste from landfills into recycling and other reprocessing streams.
We participate in the ACT Label environmental impact transparency program run by the non-profit organization, My Green Lab. The program provides Accountability, Consistency, and Transparency for each labeled product by providing scores based on the product’s manufacturing practices, energy and water use, and end-of-life disposal. The sum total is an environmental impact score that can be used in making product decisions. The ACT Label takes the guesswork out of determining the best product with the least impact on our environment.
Greener packaging: 100% paper cooler
We’ve also designed low-impact shipping containers that work for even your most temperature-sensitive products. We recently introduced a readily recyclable paper cooler, for example, which performs equivalently to existing molded expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam coolers, but with a smaller environmental footprint. This recyclable cold chain packaging alternative provides appropriate thermal and structural protection during shipping, giving you the same confidence in the safety of your sample in a package you can feel good about.
We remain committed to helping our customers make sustainable product decisions and are working to implement more programs, educate our customers, and design more products with the environment in mind. Each green choice has the power to truly make a difference—we’ve designed the infographics below to further guide you and your lab in reducing your environmental impact.
- Do your lab products pass the test? Here’s how you can ACT now
- Stop compromising on your cold storage
- Minimize your laboratory’s environmental impact
For more information on our environmental sustainability program visit: www.thermofisher.com/sustainability
For more information on our greener product alternatives for the lab visit: www.thermofisher.com/greenerproducts
For more information on the ACT Label and how it can help you make greener choices in the lab visit: www.thermofisher.com/actlabel
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