Newsletter Archive >> Fall 2009 >> Green Team established

Green Team established

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by Christina Leslie, manager of Pharmaceutical Drug Release Testing & Clinical Support and John Hook, senior chemist, Metals Department

While Lancaster Laboratories has always been an environmentally conscious organization, we felt it was time to formally implement a team of employees whom would be responsible for driving “green” initiatives.

Among these initiatives, a current Utilities Practical Process Improvement Team has joined the Green Team to increase awareness of the role all employees play when it comes to energy consumption at our laboratory. Reminders are being posted throughout the facility to encourage employees to turn off lights and computer monitors and to close the sashes of fume hoods when these items are not in use. We are also committed to updating lab equipment to new ENERGY STAR® rated equipment as equipment is taken out of service or when necessary parts are no longer available for repairs. Other initiatives such as replacing light bulbs with more energy efficient light bulbs and switching from CRT to LCD computer monitors are already underway.

All of these actions not only help to reduce our impact on the environment but will also result in significant cost savings for utility expenses.

Also of concern is the usage and disposal of paper. While we want to make sure we’re recycling as much of our paper as possible, we can have an even bigger impact by reducing paper usage wherever possible. By not printing or copying emails and documents unnecessarily, or disabling unused instrument printouts (when applicable), we can cut down paper consumption dramatically.

Another initiative is to improve our recycling efforts. A significant number of hallway recycling containers are being added throughout the facility, and smaller, waste-can sized recycling containers are being offered for use in office areas. By providing additional receptacles and putting them in convenient locations, we hope to encourage more employees to recycle. Lancaster Labs also provides battery recycling services, and employees are permitted to bring in used batteries from home for recycling.

So why is this important to our clients? First of all, prices are important to everyone these days. So if Lancaster Labs can reduce the cost of the resources needed to support our business, we can pass along these savings to our clients for our testing services. Secondly, we are seeing that many of our clients factor in whether a company has a sustainability plan and/or supports “green” initiatives when they choose a laboratory to outsource their business. We want to show our current as well as our future clients that we are committed to making environmentally conscious choices throughout our organization. We feel that the establishment of a Green Team to educate our employees, work to improve current practices and support and implement green-friendly programs shows this commitment; not only to clients, but to the environment we all share.