Sustainability At Alpha
Alpha Analytical’s sustainability program is an important component of the organization's guiding principles. By tracking the impact of our sustainability initiatives as a percentage of costs, we are driven to create long-term value and contribute to a better environment for our company, our people and the world around us. Considering our impact on the planet is a priority, as is our commitment to sustainable operations.
Our ”green initiatives are in place to safeguard the environment through many of our testing activities and in all of our operations. Here’s how we do it.
Original product manufacturers and pass-through vendors are evaluated for their sustainability initiatives along with their overall commitment to the health of the environment. In particular, we choose vendors that use environmentally-friendly procurement practices when selecting raw materials is important. Several factors go into the materials we select for testing, and our vendors must meet our requirements. These include renewable packaging, quantities, and the ability for us to avoid one-time uses. In addition, all of Alpha’s laboratory uniforms are laundered by companies that adhere to strict sustainability practices.
In the last year, Alpha has upgraded its lighting to energy-efficient LED lighting, saving 70 percent of the energy generated by our old fluorescent lighting. In our Westborough facilities, we replaced 400 fluorescent Troffer lights with LED Troffer lights on motion sensors.
Not only does this upgrade save energy while delivering the same lighting output, LED lighting lasts five times longer than a typical fluorescent bulb (average of 50,000 hours as compared to 10,000 hours).
We currently recycle paper, plastic, aluminum cans, glass, cardboard, e-waste, batteries, solvents and printer toner cartridges. In our cafeterias, we only use recyclable bamboo stirrers and all consumables are recycled.
Low Volume Initiative (LVI)
Alpha offers a low volume (LVI) approach to specific extractable analysis, which reduces sample collection efforts, minimizes the use of organic solvents and reduces waste. Our LVI approach makes use of the same laboratory equipment, and analytical methods which results in comparable data quality and reporting limits for environmental water samples.
LVI applies to select RCRA SW-846 Methods including:
- Pesticides (8081)
- PCBs (8082)
- Semi-volatile analysis (8270)
Advantages of the LVI approach include:
- Less sample volume
- Fewer and lighter weight coolers
- Comparable data quality
- Less extraction solvent
- Same or better reporting limits
- Reduced waste generated
As a leader in analytical testing, we utilize LEAN practices to reduce waste in all aspects of our company and train all members of our team in approaching every activity with a LEAN mindset. “Lean” manufacturing was developed by Toyota in the 1930s. Its purpose is to eliminate the fat, or waste, in all aspects of operations (e.g., storage, transportation, overproduction, processing, waiting, motion, defects). By reducing and cutting out waste, many benefits are realized – better quality, quicker turnaround time, lower costs and easier work processes. Learn more about our LEAN program.
Outside the Lab
Alpha is as concerned with sustainability outside of our labs as we are with what goes on inside. On our grounds, we employ biodegradable landscaping practices. On the road we are in the process of transitioning our fleet of 73 courier vehicles to electric and hybrid models. Currently, 25 percent of our commercial fleet, which travels the Northern Seaboard daily, has been converted to efficient fuel consumption of greater than 30 miles per gallon.
In 2019, we signed a 20-year agreement with a large solar farm in Worthington, Mass., that provides us with ample green, renewable energy. Alpha has committed to taking 47 percent of the farm’s solar output to power our operations for the term of the agreement. This initiative t has transformed our Westborough main laboratory and administration buildings into 100 percent carbon neutral facilities.