Celebrating Green Performance
Celebrating Green Performance
On the corporate level, we continue to track our environmental performance and progress using industry benchmarks like the Carbon Disclosure Project and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Creating a GreenQuest culture across our company has proven to yield new innovations and measurable improvements time and time again.
The story of how one packaging change saved us $1.9 million last year—and translated into a big jump in the amount a material we recycle —typifies our “Green Projects” approach to conserving resources and reducing our carbon footprint. Until late in 2013, we typically used Styrofoam coolers to transport specimens on our planes. But last year we began using a Quest Specimen Transport System, essentially a cardboard box with a specialty liner that allows us to ship specimens and reuse the liner or ship the liner back to the vendor so they can recycle it and provide us a refund. All told, last year we returned 63,000 liners and reused another 18,750 internally, resulting in a cost savings just shy of $2 million.
Green Teams brainstorm projects that will better the environment and our business. At one site, we donated 75 fully functional medical specimen processing centrifuges that we were no longer using to Project C.U.R.E., which delivers medical equipment and supplies to developing countries.
Internally, our IT team recently completed phase one of a Managed Print Services (MPS) program, upgrading and optimizing printing equipment in 40 of our largest locations and in more than 100 patient service centers and logistics hubs. The program reduced the number of printing devices by 45 percent, energy usage by 42,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, copy paper usage by 61 tons (the equivalent of 1,464 trees) and CO2 emissions by 26 metric tons.
Our employees in San Juan Capistrano, California, established a vanpool, which not only helps the environment, it also provides a noticeable savings on fuel costs for every employee participant.
In addition, our Philadelphia team noticed water usage increasing and, after investigating conservation options, replaced restroom fixtures with low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, and motion activated sink faucets, saving nearly 1.5 million gallons of water in 2014. This translates into a savings of $15,000. Since 2007, our facilities have reduced electricity consumption by 6 percent, water consumption by 14 percent, garbage generation by 45 percent and biohazardous waste generation by 15 percent.
Our enduring commitment to the environment is also reflected in our continued commitment to fuel-efficient vehicles. In 2014, we added 336 Ford C-Max hybrid vehicles to the fleet. Our hybrid vehicles, combined with our efforts to improve route efficiency, resulted in a ground fleet fuel reduction of 366,000 gallons in 2014, a 5.5 percent reduction. Since 2007, we have reduced our fleet fuel consumption by 27.8 percent. It’s not surprising that Quest Diagnostics has earned the prestigious 4-Star Evergreen Fleet Award for four consecutive years.