GreenQuest Sustainability Policy
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. Our program includes:
- An Enterprise EHS Policy
- An EHS Management System
- Standard EHS Programs
- Enterprise EHS Goals
The four key elements that drive our sustainability program are:
- Pollution Prevention: We will minimize waste generated in our operation by process improvements and focused recycling efforts
- Energy Efficiency: Sourcing and Use – We will include renewable energy in our sourcing of energy when cost effective and feasible. We will use energy efficiently and make efforts to improve efficiency through technology and renovation.
- Fleet Conservation: We will utilize technology to improve our ground fleet efficiency thereby reducing carbon fuel use and the associated greenhouse gas emissions.
- Strategic Sourcing: We will take environmental impact into consideration when making decisions about the materials and services we purchase in order to reduce consumption of natural resources, and decrease waste and emissions.
Our Sustainability Program Goals and Actions
Reducing our Waste
Quest works with suppliers to find products and processes that can minimize waste across our operations. We have committed to implement waste minimization initiatives and will reduce our single use plastic waste generated by 250 standard tons in 3 years from our baseline in 2017. In 2018, we saw the opportunity to utilize a specimen cup that contained 61% less plastic. This project reduced our plastic use by 233,690 pounds annually—that’s 106 metric tons of plastic kept out of landfills.
We have several initiatives and targets in place to reduce our energy consumption.
- We will consolidate the majority of East Region lab operations into a new LEED certified lab by 2022 which will reduce Regional Lab energy use by ~25% while increasing capabilities. Construction on the new hallmark laboratory began in 2018.
- We will reduce utility use in our Patient Services division by 3% by 2021. Since 2016 we have downsized or consolidated numerous Patient Service Centers (PSC) to reduce our square footage while increasing the number of patient’s visits.
- By 2020 we commit to evaluate our lab testing platforms for improved efficiency / impact, establish a baseline and publish an energy / water reduction goal for the effected instruments, and will start to roll out the lower impact solution by 2020. The evaluation started in 2018 is 50% completed.
- Many of our facilities operate 24 hours a day to process the tests required by patients and doctors. With lights illuminated continuously, any lighting upgrade can have a tremendous impact on the environment and our employees. Quest completed 6 LED conversion projects at facilities around the country in which we upgraded or replaced fluorescent lighting with energy-efficient LED lighting, which reduced energy consumption by 2.2M kilowatts hours.
We have committed to voluntarily purchase at least 5% (on average) renewable energy certificates (RECs) from our primary energy suppliers for the next three years. In 2018, we purchased REQs equaling more than 14 million kWh [or 4.5%] of the company-wide electricity consumed. The CO2 emissions averted by this green power are equivalent to 9,575 metric tons.
Paperless Working Environment
We are committed to reduce the amount of paper waste in our Patient Service Centers (PSCs) by 60% in three years, saving greater than 500 tons of paper and associated expenses exceeding $0.5M annually from our baseline in 2016. In 2017 we began our e-technology efforts in the PSCs. We implemented e-registration in 2017, and converted several other documents to electronic forms in 2018 and recognized first year reduction of 790 US tons.
We continually seek fuel reduction opportunities through route optimization and investment in more eco-efficient vehicles. In 2018 we reduced our fleet miles driven by 1.8 million miles (2.7 million annualized) through route optimization. This cut fuel consumption by 69,231 gallons and CO2 emissions by 617 metric tons).
We are committed to having at least one lab ISO 14001 certified by 2022. Starting in 2017 we initiated a comprehensive enterprise auditing program and completed one audit. In 2018, we completed an additional 7 audits and began laying the framework for an ISO program. We have implemented the Local Environmental Inventory (LEI) assessment in Q1 2019, added environmental initiatives to the regional strategic plan template, updated our Environmental Policy Statement and developed an EMS standard operating procedure as part of the system documentation.
Much of the utility data included in our carbon footprint is obtained through the third party vendor Urjanet. The process they use to audit the data for accuracy can be found here
By the Numbers
|Measure ||2018 ||2017 |
|Square Footage of Facilities ||9,958,293 ||10,079,778 |
|Indirect energy (TJ) per 1m test requisitions ||6.84 ||7.08 |
|Direct energy (TJ) per 1M test requisitions ||8.69 ||8.67 |
|Scope 1 CO2 Emissions (Metric tons) per 1M test requisitions ||549.1 ||554.4 |
|Scope 2 CO2 Emissions (Metric tons) per 1M test requisitions* ||687.0 ||690.5 |
|Scope 3 CO2 Emissions (Metric tons) per 1M test requisitions ||281.5 ||243.7 |
|Water consumption (thousand cubic meters) per 1M test requisitions ||5.75 ||5.67 |
|Biohazardous Waste (MT) per 1M test requisitions ||55.8 ||55.7 |
| Chemical Waste (MT) per 1M test requisitions ||15.6 ||23.0 |
| Recycling (MT) per 1M test requisitions ||35.7 ||46.3 |
US EIA’s Commercial Building Energy Consumption Surveys (CBECS) data and EPA’s Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGrid) were used to estimate utility usage and related emissions factors for some small locations when not available from other sources.
*The Scope 2 CO2 emissions include a reduction of ~5% in 2018 based on our use of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)
Our EHS Policy
At Quest Diagnostics, we're creating an inspiring workplace, and critical to our success are workplace safety, the health of our employees, and protection of the environment. We will comply with all legal, customer and company requirements; provide a safe work environment for all employees and continuously improve our:
- safety performance to reduce employee risks
- environmental management program to identify environmental objectives and utilize pollution prevention opportunities to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment
Quest Diagnostics is committed to the protection of the environment and improvement of our GreenQuest Sustainability program to address waste and energy reduction, improved fleet efficiency and include renewable from our strategic utility providers. As employees, we're each accountable for taking an active role in our own health and safety and that of our colleagues, while helping safeguard the environment each and every day.
Recognition of our Efforts
DOW Sustainability Index (DJSI) Fund
– included in the World Index since 2004 and the North American Index Fund since 2005.
EPA Green Power Partner
since 2015 for the purchase of 20% green (wind) power RECs from our national energy suppliers.
LEED Building Certifications
for our Marlborough MA Laboratory (2016), our Secaucus NJ National Headquarters (Gold – 2018) and pending for our Clifton NJ laboratory in progress.