With a portfolio of more than 300,000 products that support 1 million customers, how we make, distribute, and enable the use and disposal of those products can have a large and meaningful impact on the environment. We are committed to working with customers, employees, and suppliers to develop new and innovative processes and products that contribute toward a healthier ecosystem and safer world.
We harness the collective expertise, passion, and energy of employees to minimize any environmental footprint and positively impact communities around the world. We align our efforts with our strengths in research, innovation, and collaboration with the global scientific community. Find out below how our framework, initiatives, and projects lead to smaller footprints.
In 2014, we created Design for Sustainability (DfS) — our gold-standard design approach that keeps sustainability at the forefront of each stage of the product life cycle as we develop, engineer, and re-engineer products to minimize environmental and health impact, and simultaneously improve product performance.
Our re-engineering approach is guided by the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, developed by Paul T. Anastas and John C. Warner in 1991. These signposts guide us toward uncovering innovative solutions to big questions — like how to make chemicals, processes, or products greener, thereby reducing environmental or human health risks and increasing energy efficiency.
An industry first, our DOZN™ tool is a proprietary Quantitative Green Chemistry Evaluator that enables us to consistently evaluate different products and processes against the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, using readily available data and generally accepted industry practices.
We offer customers more than 1,200 Greener Alternatives to help reduce the environmental impact of their work while ensuring their results are not compromised. These greener alternative products, developed by leveraging our strengths in innovation and sustainability, are identified with a small green icon and fall into four categories.
With a catalog of more than 300,000 products, our Life Science business delivers many of the most highly-respected brands in the industry, such as Sigma-Aldrich® Brand, Millipore® Portfolio, SAFC® Solutions, BioReliance® Brand, Supelco® Analytical Products, and Milli-Q® Lab Water Solutions. These products are manufactured at 60 sites and distributed worldwide through more than 100 distribution centers.
Product packaging is one of the most visible and tangible environmental impacts for our customers — which is why it is top of mind for us. We work to improve packaging quality while striving to reduce waste and the time, effort, and costs associated with handling and disposing of it. Packaging is a key focus of our process — with our goal to deliver improvements without compromising quality or safety. Our SMASH Packaging Plan is our four-year approach to drive improvement in the sustainability of our packaging by 2022. Through this initiative, we are setting new standards and goals to SHRINK, SECURE, SWITCH and SAVE packaging while transparently reporting progress.
Plastic disposable product use is on the rise in the life science industry. We faced this challenge by working together with customers and the waste management industry to provide a unique process and first-of-its-kind single-stream recycling program. Our U.S.-based programs are able to recycle almost 100 percent of the products with the added benefit of traceability.
We're proud of the present progress, but always looking toward the future. Our programs are the beginning of how we can re-classify "disposables" into "materials" that can be used again in other ways. This doesn't just reduce our environmental impact but helps our customers do the same. Find out more at the Recycling Hub.