Packaging design is an important focus to help ensure the quality and performance of our products while at the same time helping to minimize environmental impact. The first rule of packaging is that it must protect the product—whether from the mechanical rigors of handling and shipping or from extreme temperatures. Our goal is to design packaging solutions that preserve product integrity while maximizing freight density and therefore using less fuel. We are also utilizing technology that consumes fewer resources per reaction; redesigning the packaging of individual components within kits; reducing the use of dry ice and other cold shipping methods; and transitioning to more sustainable shipping materials. For example, we’ve recently developed a 100% recyclable paper cooler to begin replacing expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam coolers for cold shipping: for every 10,000 paper coolers we ship, more than 6,500 cubic feet of EPS is kept from landfills.
Our sustainability efforts are still being refined; but when we get it right, we lower our environmental footprint and delight our customers at the same time because they have less trash to throw away. With this in mind, we've put together a list of green solutions for sustainable packaging and "greenlight" our key products below.
Alternative packaging solutions can mitigate many adverse environmental impacts. We’re finding ways to reduce the environmental footprint of our products through innovating new products, switching to reusable packaging, and minimizing both recyclable and non-recyclable packaging material. Invitrogen ProQuantum immunoassay kits are one example: they use more sustainable packaging and offer less waste than a traditional immunoassay such as an ELISA. This is achieved through the assays’ proximity-based amplification technology, which allows researchers to detect lower levels of protein with lower sample input than traditional methods. With higher sensitivity and very low sample consumption, you not only can get the most out of your precious samples but also consume less plastic than other immunoassays. This technology also enables smaller packaging of ProQuantum kits—researchers can store four ProQuantum kits in the same space as just one traditional ELISA kit. These high-sensitivity immunoassays were developed to provide researchers with a simple yet powerful tool for protein quantification to help better understand disease, but they have the added benefits of using fewer resources and generating less waste.
Reducing chemical footprint with returnable containers
Our containers, utilizing a rotational supply chain model, are an outstanding choice for handling large quantities of high-purity solvents. We have designed container systems that efficiently deliver solvents to laboratory and production environments while reducing environmental impact and enhancing safety.
Receiving bulk solvents in one of our returnable container formats (10 L to 1,000 L) can have a large impact:
- A single 200 L returnable drum replaces eighty 2.5 L or fifty 4 L glass bottles, as well as cardboard boxes and packing material
- The closed returnable container system reduces the release of flammable or toxic vapors into the surrounding environment with a unique combination of mechanical and manual controls
The returnable container delivery system also helps to increase safety in laboratory and production environments:
- The bottle-free system reduces glass breakage and likelihood of chemical spills
- The distribution of metal containers around the facility reduces glass transportation risks
TaqMan® Assays shipped at ambient temperature with no change to quality/stability
The adverse environmental impact of shipping products at low temperature is tremendous, causing increased CO2 emissions generated from the manufacturing of expanded polystyrene (EPS) coolers and refrigerant, increased packaging size, reduced freight density, and increased fuel consumption.
After thoroughly investigating the feasibility of shipping Applied Biosystems TaqMan® Assays at ambient rather than cold temperatures, we found, through functional and stability testing, that product quality and long-term stability are unaffected by ambient shipping.
By “going ambient” for TaqMan® Assays, we divert an annual total of nearly 27,675 kg (75,235 ft3) of EPS from landfills and incinerators and reduce the carbon footprint of these products by more than 214 tons annually.
Discover how we, along with our customers, are trying to make every day Earth Day. Learn about our pillars of sustainability, which includes: less waste, less hazardous, energy efficient and sustainable packaging.
One shared pursuit
Hear from Cristina Amorim, VP of EHS & Sustainability as she shares ways in which we're taking steps towards serving our customers in sustainable ways, including: 14 zero waste-certified facilities and a recent commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
What does “less hazardous” really mean? Find out about how we evaluate less hazardous products and learn about the ACT label, an eco-nutrition label that helps you make greener choices for the lab.
Are you “thinking green” already? Share your story while learning about other environmentally conscious researchers. Let's celebrate every step along our green journey together.
We release a new issue of Life in the Lab three times a year. Subscribe to stay in the know, especially as our shared pursuit of sustainability continues. When printed, our magazines use soy-based inks, are printed with zero VOC technology and are FSC certified. For the rest of 2020, we’ll be going exclusively digital in honor of the 50th Anniversary of World Earth Day.
For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.