BioTek Instruments maintains that care of the environment benefits us all. For many years, our Mission Statement has included a specific item regarding our commitment to “Reducing our impact on the environment”. Since the early 1990’s, every employee has had a bin or access to a common bin to place paper goods for recycling.
In May of 2008, from a grass roots initiative the Green Team formed with the specific goal to “reduce BioTek’s impact on the environment while educating employees how changes at home and work can help lower that impact”. In a very short time, the cross-functional group helped make multiple changes within the organization that have both long and short term benefits to the environment.
Not only do we recycle paper and paper goods but we also recycle batteries, plastic bags, and oil used in the manufacturing process. BioTek supports and encourages employees to bring in batteries and plastic bags from home for recycling. Cardboard boxes, once tossed out after a single use, are now re-used when shipping parts to vendors and repaired units to customers. Our weekly garbage pick-up has been reduced from 20 cubic yards to just 12 while our recycling pick-up has increased to 30 cubic yards from 20 -- all at no additional cost.
BioTek has also purchased a cardboard compactor which will reduce our recycling pick ups even further - from 156 annually to just 12!
In conjunction with Efficiency Vermont, the nation's first statewide provider of energy efficiency services, we updated lighting throughout our buildings to compact energy-efficient fluorescent lights (CFL). Because these lights are more powerful, we saw a 60% increase in light and yet a 40% decrease in energy consumption. Sensors to shut off lights and bathroom fans when not in use were also added. The Green Team also hosted a light bulb buying fair where for-home-use CFL bulbs were available at minimal cost. It's estimated that the total number of bulbs sold equates to saving electricity that would normally power 9 homes for 1 year.
BioTek's new service area windows have been installed with high R value shades that save on heating and cooling costs year round.
Our IT department also introduced Virtualization which allows fewer servers to be used. Along with a cost savings (fewer servers, quicker software and application implementation, decreased support needs), there can be a significant environmental savings as well. Fewer servers require less air conditioning (less heat generated) and less electricity.
Paper & Recycled Goods
Almost 100% of the paper we use for business correspondence and copiers is recycled. We also use recycled paper towels in the kitchen and bathrooms which are then composted! On demand printing of our marketing literature eliminates the need to maintain high quantities of stock and reduces waste.
Banana peels, paper towels,and uneaten food all go into strategically placed compost bins which are dumped every evening into an outside bin, then hauled to a local company for composting. At company functions and celebrations, we use compostable plates, cups, and eating utensils. These cost a little more but are able to be composted instead of contributing to our growing landfills.
We're proud of the fact that BioTek is only one of a very few companies that actively support composting and in July 2009 were recognized by our local Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) as winners of the 2009 Waste Reduction Award. Click here to see the CSWD's ad announcing the award.
Because part of our mission is to educate, the Green Team sends out newsletters and emails highlighting actions that we can all take to improve the environmental impact we make. We also maintain a page on our intranet with helpful links to environmental organizations, newsletter archives, and information about recycling and composting.
If you’d like more information about BioTek’s Green Team or have suggestions for further green activities, please let us know at BiotekGoGreen@BioTek.com.