It has never been more important for businesses to consider the impact their operations have on the environment. For example, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 30% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions came from the industrial sector in 2016 – the most of any sector.
As a global business, we need to take a holistic approach to sustainability. We must not only consider carefully the direct environmental impact of the materials and processes we use; we must also manage our operations in the most energy-efficient and sustainable ways possible. We need to look outwards, considering how we use and replace natural resources, as well as inwards to minimize the emissions and waste we produce. Our own operations, and those of our suppliers and partners, are linked in a continuous chain of environmental responsibility.
During 2017, we worked to clarify what it means to build and maintain a better planet through our CSR programs, and developed a set of key environmental impact goals to achieve by the end of 2020. We aimed to recognize $2 million in cost avoidance, 10% energy conservation, and 15% water conservation compared to our fiscal year 2015 baseline.
To meet these goals, we have put in place multiple systems and initiatives across our business. A key example is the one megawatt, three-acre solar electricity system at our headquarters in Santa Rosa, which reduces our carbon footprint by using renewable energy. It not only provides 5% of our site’s electrical needs, but also powers more than 30 vehicle charging stations, so our employees can charge their electric vehicles while they are at work.
We are proud to run an ISO 14001:2015-certified Environmental Management System which continuously reduces adverse environmental impacts from our operations and drives ongoing improvements in our environmental performance. This compliance framework applies to the entire product development lifecycle, from initial design and development, throughout production and delivery, to refurbishment and support.
We also use the General Specification for the Environment (GSE) directive, which sets restrictions for any hazardous substances in the materials and components we use for our products. We have developed a remarketing solutions business to address this issue. This operation recovers and repurposes older instruments for resale, and helps us to reduce the number of products that end up in landfills. Further program options help customers safely dispose of or recycle used instrumentation.
These efforts are already bearing fruit
Since November 2014, we have recognized 4.69% and 12.44% respectively energy and water conservation. This has resulted in approximately $850,000 in cost avoidance. We also don’t believe in standing still: our excellent results in water conservation last year led us to increase our water conservation goal from the original 10% target to 15%. Crucially, these efforts have led to no material negative impacts on our profit and loss, or institutional investment levels.
It has always been important to us that our activities in running a successful, profitable and innovative business go hand-in-hand with sustainability. As we help people and organizations globally to solve problems by accelerating innovation, we’re ensuring that this has the minimum possible impact on the planet’s ecosystem. Find out more about our progress towards our 2020 environmental CSR goals by downloading our 2017 CSR Report.