Quest Diagnostics Multi-Pronged Approach to Waste Reduction

NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / December 13, 2023 / Quest Diagnostics
Originally published in Quest Diagnostics Corporate Responsibility Report 2022

2025/2026 Goals

  • Implement a waste-to-energy strategy to divert from landfills' waste from several of our laboratory locations by 2025
  • Reduce or eliminate shipped medical waste from at least 4 of our laboratory locations by installing on-site treatment technology by 2025

Waste reduction

We have a multi-pronged approach to waste reduction. Our strategies include reducing waste generated and waste sent to landfill.

  • For several years, we have been committed to reducing our single-use plastic waste and using specimen cups and stool containers containing less plastic. We are proud to share this program reduced our plastic waste in 2022 by another 105 standard tons
  • We are committed to reducing the amount of paper waste in our PSCs. During the period 2018-2022, we cut paper waste in our PSCs by approximately 723 tons, including approximately 177 tons in 2022. As we go forward, we estimate that this initiative will enable us to avoid paper waste by approximately 175 tons annually
  • Our plans also include decreasing waste to landfill. We began with an audit of several of our California sites to gain a better understanding of disposal of waste streams. We identified waste-to-energy as a potential opportunity to divert waste from landfills and are planning to implement waste-to-energy projects at not less than 4 laboratory locations by 2025
  • Another waste stream opportunity is medical waste. We plan to install on-site treatment technology for medical waste at 4 laboratories within the next 3 years

Water stewardship

We rely on water for our operations and test processing and are focused on continuously improving water use efficiency and management of water discharges.

  • Our environmental management system includes consideration of water use and its impact on the environment as a limited natural resource
  • We conducted water audits at several of our major laboratories to gather insight into potential water-savings opportunities

Small changes can have a big impact

Annually, Quest ships over 1.5 million collection supplies orders to over 100,000 clients - totaling over 2.5 million boxes. These collection supplies are needed to properly collect a quality sample for testing in our laboratories. In 2022, we began a box optimization program to bring down the number of boxes we send out. Our innovative software solution, launching in 2023, will trim the number of boxes shipped by an estimated 10% annually. This program is expected to reduce downstream cardboard used by 85 tons. There will also be a reduction in transportation carbon emissions as fewer trips will be needed to deliver the same quantity of supplies.

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Spokesperson: Quest Diagnostics

SOURCE: Quest Diagnostics

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