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Holiday schedule

Our Patient Service Centers will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024 for the Memorial Day holiday. Have a healthy, happy holiday.

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Environmental Sustainability

Introduction

Environmental sustainability is a key pillar in our approach to corporate responsibility. We believe that protection of the environment is an important business objective. We are committed to the conservation of resources and reducing the negative impact on the environment of our operations.  We engage with suppliers, report on our sustainability program and are pursuing ISO certifications of laboratory environmental management systems.  We focus on three key environmental areas: climate action, waste reduction, and water stewardship.

Supplier Engagement
We engage with suppliers on our sustainability journey.  They assist us with our own sustainability efforts. https://www.questdiagnostics.com/our-company/suppliers-partners/supply-chain-sustainability.  We are communicating to them the importance of enhancing the sustainability of their operations.

Data Reporting and Assurance
We are committed to reporting on our sustainability activity and plan to increase the transparency and quality of our reporting.  ERM Certification and Verification Services conducted independent third-party assurance of our year 2021 Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions data; see their Independent Assurance Statement here.

ISO Standardization
ISO 14001 is an internationally recognized environmental management system that leverages leadership involvement and employee engagement in order to:

  • Help organizations ensure compliance with regulatory standards
  • Improve their environmental performance
  • Provide a competitive advantage and gain the trust of stakeholders and
  • Achieve strategic goals by incorporating environmental issues into business management

In 2022 we received our first ISO 14001 Certification for our San Juan Capistrano laboratory. We plan to secure ISO 14001 certification for three additional labs by 2026.

Climate Action

We support the global effort to address climate change.  We recognize our responsibility to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (“GHG emissions”) and are seeking ways to transition our business to a lower carbon footprint.  We are actively making efforts to reduce our GHG emissions, and we provide comprehensive and detailed annual sustainability disclosures to illustrate our progress. We currently are seeking to understand, and prepare for, proposed changes in regulatory requirements and their impact on our company as we continue to develop our plans. We believe that taking a thoughtful approach, that takes into consideration the importance of continuing to provide high quality patient care and providing stockholder value, after consultation with our business partners, will best assist the Company in determining the type and scope of targets or other methods by which we may further reduce our GHG emissions. Our climate strategy focuses on emissions reductions in our operations and our supply base.

Facilities Operations
We are focusing on reducing energy consumption in our facilities to reduce carbon emissions. We have several initiatives supporting this effort including:

  • Conducting ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Audits to identify energy conservation measures across building envelope, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
  • A continuous Energy Management Program that includes desktop audits to identify energy conservation measures and to optimize building management strategies.
  • Leveraging operational best practices across our enterprise with management strategies such as monitoring unoccupied/occupied settings.

Fleet Conservation
We have a multi-pronged approach to reducing GHG in our vehicle usage.

First, we continually seek fuel reduction opportunities through optimizing the routes our vehicles drive in response to changing business demands.  In 2019 our vehicle fleet activity increased because we internalized courier activity and expanded our business. That year, we nonetheless optimized our routes to reduce 1.6M miles driven. With our fleet vehicles averaging 26 MPG, the 1.6M miles reduced fuel usage by 61,538 gallons. With CO2 emissions per gallon of gas = 19.6 pounds, the total CO2 emissions saved was 1,206,154 lbs. (548 metric tons). In 2020, we experienced a decrease in miles driven by 1.7M miles, which was mostly due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, further reducing our gasoline consumption by 65,384 gallons and our COemissions by 1,281,526 lbs. (581 metric tons).  In 2021, as the pandemic waned and business demands increased, our route optimization projects reduced our fleet miles driven by 1.2M miles, reducing our gasoline consumption by an additional 46,154 gallons and our CO2 emissions by an additional 934,760 lbs. (424 metric tons).

In 2021, we began an electric vehicle pilot project. At our Clifton, New Jersey lab, we installed charging stations in the public area of our garage. We have selected 3 additional labs to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure to support electric vehicles.

Most recently, in 2022, we adopted plans to transition 50% of our vehicle fleet to electric or hybrid vehicles by 2026. 

Renewable Energy
Since 2018, we have been committed to source at least 5% (on average) of our energy via renewable energy certificates (RECs).  Our total electricity sourced from green power usage from 2018 through 2021 was 79,562 MWh, average annual green energy use of approximately 6.5%.

Supply Base
We are engaging with our suppliers about their environmental profile and practices. We request assessments from our suppliers and evaluate their responses with the assistance of an external expert as we seek to identify improvement opportunities.  For information on our supply practices, click here.

Waste Reduction

We are focusing on waste reduction.  Our strategies include reducing waste generated, reducing waste sent to landfill, and recycling.

Reducing Waste Generated
We work with suppliers to find products and processes that can reduce waste generated in our operations. In 2018, we committed to reducing our single-use plastic waste and began to utilize a specimen cup that contained 51% less plastic. This change reduced our plastic use by approximately 190,000 pounds (95 standard tons) annually. In 2019, we converted our specimen cup again to a lighter item and our stool collection container to a smaller tube; these changes reduced our plastic waste by an additional approximately 10 standard tons per year. From 2018 through 2021, these initiatives reduced our plastic waste by approximately 407 standard tons – and kept that amount of plastic out of landfills. 

In 2017, we committed to reducing the amount of paper waste in our Patient Service Centers (PSCs) and began our e-technology efforts, including e-registration and converting paper documents to electronic form.  During the period 2018 – 2022, we reduced our paper waste in our PSCs by approximately 723 tons.  As we go forward, we estimate that our PSC paper waste reduction initiative will enables us to avoid paper waste in our PSCs of approximately 175 tons annually.

Reducing Waste to Landfill
We plan by 2025 to expand our waste-to energy strategy to divert from landfills waste from several of our laboratory locations.  We also plan by 2025 to reduce or eliminate shipped medical waste from at least four of our laboratory locations by installing on-site treatment technology.  

Recycling
We are committed to our paper recycling program.  In 2021, we recycled over 706 tons of paper.

Water Stewardship

We are taking steps to improve our water processes and reduce our overall water use Our facilities management strategy includes the development of water management plans and best practices. We have launched a review of process water usage in our major laboratories to identify water savings opportunities.

Recognition

EPA Green Power Partner since 2015 for the purchase of renewable energy (wind) power RECs from our national energy suppliers.

LEED Building Certifications for our Marlborough MA Laboratory (2016), our Secaucus NJ National Headquarters (Gold – 2018) and pending for our Clifton NJ laboratory in progress.

By the Numbers

Measure

2021

Square Footage of Facilities

9,996,500

Indirect energy (TJ) per 1M test requisitions

5.0

Direct energy (TJ) per 1M test requisitions

6.39

Scope 1 CO2 Emissions (Metric tons) per 1M test requisitions

1095.9*

Scope 2 CO2 Emissions (Metric tons) per 1M test requisitions

487.3

Water consumption (100m3) per 1M test requisitions

3.28

Biohazardous Waste (MT) per 1M test requisitions

49.8

Chemical Waste (MT) per 1M test requisitions

5.2

Recycling (MT) per 1M test requisitions

45.8

US EIA’s Commercial Building Energy Consumption Surveys (CBECS) data and EPA’s Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGrid) were used to estimate utility usage and related emissions factors for some small locations when not available from other sources. Coverage of the data is 100% of U.S. our operations in North American and Latin America.

*In 2021, we included refrigerants and process emissions for the first time, which accounts for the significant increase in our Scope 1 emissions.  Refrigerants were calculated for the largest facilities, primarily labs, using the GHG Protocol’s basic and advanced screening method.  The screen covered 22% of our total footprint by square footage, and 38% of our lab square footage.  Remaining refrigerant data were estimated based on the results of this screen.  Emissions were based on IPCC, 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for national Greenhouse Gas Inventories (2019), Volume 3; Industrial Processes and Product Use, Table 7.9.