Leading Edge 2020 Issue 1

www.alphalabs.co.uk 11 Printed on Recycled Paper Supporting Sustainability for All Our Futures Alpha Laboratories is committed to innovative sustainability practices focused on building a better world for future generations. We are changing the way we do business to preserve natural resources and the environment, by reducing waste and reusing or recycling materials, when possible. We focus on diminishing our consumption of natural resources, using sustainable options and striving to improve our environmental performance. This covers all aspects of our business from reduced use of energy, paper and printing, to a car fleet that is converting to electric and hybrid vehicles. We use the minimum amount of packaging to ensure our products arrive to you in good condition and use recycled materials wherever possible. Partnering with our customers is paramount to meeting our sustainability goals. We aim to help you by providing more eco-friendly products, manufactured with renewable energy. Our popular recycling scheme for customers turns your used laboratory plastics back into something equally useful, while reducing the environmental impact of plastic manufacturing. Campaigns such as the LaboraTree tree planting scheme create a positive impact, enabling us to all put something back into the environment. Greener Manufacturing There is no other material that has transformed the world as dramatically over the last century as plastic. Yet over the past 20 years it has become a growing environmental concern. However, plastic consumables play a vital part in science, medical research and healthcare. Without them we wouldn’t have the knowledge, technologies, products and medicines we all rely on. We work closely with suppliers to source products that are manufactured in an eco-efficient manner. For example our leading pipette tips and centrifuge tubes are manufactured in a facility that has taken action to operate with minimal environmental impact. This production facility uses a rooftop solar power array, energy efficient moulding machines and a closed-loop water cooling system. The internal recycling programme results in zero plastic waste and E-beam sterilisation produces no radioactive waste. Greener Packaging and Distribution We always want to ensure our products arrive to you in the best possible condition. We use a range of right-sized, sustainable and durable packaging materials dependent on their suitability for the goods being shipped. We use the most environmentally friendly packaging method available, choosing reuse and recycled materials as the primary option. Wherever possible we reuse boxes that we have received goods in from our suppliers, for shipments out to you. If using new boxes they are made from 70% recycled cardboard. To maximise their durability the outer shell is made from stronger new material, but this comes from sustainable managed sources. We always use the minimum amount of packaging possible but when void fill is necessary, to protect your products in transit, we use sustainable fan folded paper stuffing. This is from FSC certified suppliers with climate neutral production. Frozen or cold items require special treatment to maintain their integrity. We use small amounts of bubble wrap for these products. Insulated boxes are reused and our own solution consists of a lined cardboard container that minimises styrofoam use whilst providing adequate insulation. We are constantly reviewing our packaging materials to achieve the most sustainable solutions that provide the best performance. We work with a courier who pursues efficiency and invests in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles to pioneer more sustainable solutions with lower environmental impacts. Office Practice In all aspects of our office, warehouse and field based environments staff are trained and equipped to follow green working practices and to always aim to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Active changes to working processes are reducing the use of printing inks and paper consumption. Employees are encouraged to manage heating and lighting efficiently in their work areas. Recycling All employees are requested to separate all recyclable waste. This is now processed by a local handling agent to minimise transportation to the recycling depot. Travel Through a transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to a fully electric and hybrid fleet we have reduced CO2 emissions by 32% and are focused on improving this further with each vehicle replacement. Air travel has been reduced to fulfill essential requirements only and greater use of technology is enabling more business meetings and training to occur online, with minimal environmental impact. Marketing The increased use of advanced digital communications means we can keep you up to date with market developments, new solutions, product innovations and special offers, through our websites, emails and social media. Our online literature library provides a wealth of digital brochures, technical documents and case studies that can be downloaded direct to your PC or mobile device. However, we still feel there is a place for occasional print publications that can be reviewed offline at leisure. We have taken steps to reduce the environmental footprint of our popular periodicals such as Leading Edge and LabVantage by now printing them on recycled paper and mailing them without any outer packaging. These ‘naked’ mailings save over 100kg of plastic annually. We also offer free reusable customer gifts, many made from recycled materials. Request your reusable water bottle, coffee cup or shopping bag. to reduce plastic waste and environmental impact in your daily activities. Find out more at: www.alphalabs.co.uk/sustainability