Waste reduction is a key driver in our path to environmental sustainability. We strive to eliminate waste when possible and divert waste streams from landfills through recycling and composting initiatives.
For some items, recycling and composting options are currently not available. In our Cambridge and Hillerød locations, we send these materials to facilities that convert the waste into energy through state-of-the-art incineration processes. We plan to expand this practice to Research Triangle Park (RTP) in 2012.
Composting Wastewater Byproducts
The manufacturing process of our therapies produces buffer solutions, which contain nitrogen and phosphorus, as byproducts. Given the high levels of nutrients, these solutions cannot be discharged to drains and have traditionally been handled as hazardous waste. However, the biotechnology industry has recently identified more efficient and environmentally preferred ways of disposing of such solutions. In our case, for the past several years, we have been working with McGill Environmental Systems, an innovative compost vendor. McGill is able to take our solutions, rigorously test and approve them for use under the EPA 503 requirements for designation as a Class A Exceptional Quality compost. As a result, from 2009 through 2011, we have diverted more than 430 metric tons of waste and saved approximately $8 million. Additionally, in 2011, we began to lay the groundwork for introducing a similar waste-to-compost solution in Hillerød and plan to implement the program in 2012.
Zug Green Team Reduces Office Waste
In 2011, our employee Green Team in Zug, Switzerland, launched the “Go Green, Think Green, Act Green!” initiative to educate and encourage staff to reduce their environmental impact through recycling and other efforts. As part of this initiative, the team created a green suggestion box so employees can share their ideas for making environmental improvements throughout the office. In 2011, several employee suggestions were implemented, such as setting black and white, double-sided printing as the default standard and requesting that employees switch off lights and other electrical equipment when not using meeting rooms and offices. Additionally, in 2012, the team plans to follow in the footsteps of our Maidenhead, UK, office, which publishes a quarterly environmental newsletter, by contributing environmental content quarterly to the Zug site newsletter.