We believe that protection of the environment is a critical business objective. We are committed to the conservation of resources and the minimization of any negative impact our operations and facilities may have on the environment. We will take environmental impact into consideration when making decisions about the materials and services we purchase and are committed to compliance with applicable regulations and standards.Since embarking on our GreenQuest in 2008, we've found new ways to significantly reduce our environmental footprint, recycle or reuse materials and conserve energy. Our quest to be an environmentally conscious company is a founding vision that continues to this day. We invite you to check back often to learn about new initiatives and green projects that we're implementing in order to fulfill our promise.
Each of our key sites establishes groups of employee volunteers called Green Teams. These teams work together to brainstorm eco-initiatives and identify specific green projects that will not only have a positive impact on the environment but on our business as a whole. The scope of these projects is only limited by the creativity of our employees. Some embarked on projects to recycle batteries, electronic waste, ink and toner cartridges, and even sneakers, often donating proceeds to local charities. At one site, 75 medical specimen processing centrifuges (in good working order, but no longer useful to us) were donated to Project C.U.R.E., which delivers medical equipment and supplies to developing countries. Whether the initiatives are big or small, our Green Teams continue to think of new ways to make Earth a better place for all of us to live.
One of the most significant ways that we can positively impact the environment is by rethinking how we work. In 2008, Quest Diagnostics embarked on a system wide conservation effort to reduce energy and water consumption. At the same time, we took steps to cut down on the amount of waste generated by our facilities. We have invested in more efficient heating/cooling equipment and lighting, energy saving insulation and roofs, and motion sensor light switches to save electricity in vacated rooms and offices. We’ve reduced the water we consume both indoors (installed water efficient toilets and faucets) and outside (updated water saving landscaping).
Since 2007, our facilities reduced:
• electricity consumption per square feet of operations by 11%
• water consumption by 23%
• garbage generation by 15%
• biohazardous waste generation by 13%
Enterprise Wide Efforts
Enterprise wide efforts include the implementation of a Managed Print Services (MPS) project that replaced and consolidated many inefficient desktop and network printers, scanners and fax machines with a limited number of new HP Multifunction Print Devices. These units were EnergyStar rated, go into sleep mode after 15 minutes and are configured to print in duplex mode, saving paper by printing on both sides of each sheet. The project began in Q4 of 2013 with 60 locations converted to the new HP Multifunction Printers. In 2014, 99 additional locations were serviced, for a total of 159 locations for the project. In total, there were 2,274 network printers were installed, while 5085 individual printer/fax devices were removed, reducing the amount of print devices by 2,811 (or ~45%), saving an estimated 42,165 kWh of electricity annually. Paper saving for 2014 equaled 42.8 metric tons of paper. The estimated cost savings for this project in 2014 was $2.4MM.
With a nation-wide ground fleet as part of our transportation infrastructure, significant effort has been placed on reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Selecting more fuel efficient vehicles – including hybrids, and utilizing route optimization software to improve our routes has reduced our fleet fuel use by 2.4 million gallons since 2007, averting more than 21 thousand metric tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Ride Share Program
In order to improve our environmental footprint, we're not only looking at how we work, but how we commute to work. In 2009, we launched an interactive application to our GreenQuest employee website. This feature allows employees of Quest Diagnostics to connect with other employees in their community and coordinate ride-share opportunities. Additionally, several locations have started van pool programs allowing many employees to participate in the effort to reduce GHG emissions, traffic congestion, and enjoy a care-free ride to work. Two of our California facilities have more than 200 total daily riders and are saving more than 193,000 gallons of fuel and averting 1,723 tons of CO2 emissions annually.