Celebrating Sustainable Business Practices This Earth Day
Now more than ever, environmentally friendly business practices are an essential part of a company’s success. Consumers want to know that the products they’re using aren’t causing unnecessary impact, and Arthrex products are no exception. This Earth Day, Arthrex is proud to share the efforts being made to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover to minimize our environmental impact.
Arthrex has been recognized by the State of Florida for the past several years for outstanding recycling efforts, which the Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) team is constantly working to further improve upon. In 2018, Arthrex Manufacturing Inc. recycled 74,988 pounds of commingled scrap metal and 3,695 pounds of scrap medical device metal. Together, that’s the equivalent of 22 and a half Toyota Camrys!
In 2019, Arthrex is projected to recycle approximately 100,000 pounds of plastic molding materials and upwards of 348 tons of cardboard. Arthrex Manufacturing Inc. uses more than 6,000 gallons of reclaimed oil per year to operate machinery (enough oil to get you from Arthrex Inc. in Naples to Arthrex California Technology in Santa Barbara more than 70 times) and exclusively reclaimed water for onsite irrigation.
“Identifying ways that we can use less and recycle or recover more is a continuous process,” said Environmental Engineer II Keith Reynolds, CHMM, CSP, EI. “It involves every employee’s assistance to make sure we’re doing our best.”
Each Arthrex employee is given a reusable tumbler to drink from during new employee orientation and numerous water bottle filling stations are located around the buildings to cut back on employees’ use of disposable water bottles.
The Facilities team has been changing all fluorescent lights to LED lighting, which has a ten-year lifespan compared to fluorescent’s two years, and reduces energy usage. Arthrex has also used motion-activated light switches for years to save energy on lighting unoccupied spaces.
On a larger scale, Arthrex and construction company DeAngelis Diamond have worked to incorporate several environmentally friendly aspects into the new buildings currently under construction on the world headquarters campus in Naples, Florida. The foundation of the new Arthrex Event and Administration Building is made from recycled material from the building that originally stood there, saving tons of concrete and the air pollution from transporting those additional materials.
Special care was taken to create a culvert, or buried canal, to preserve the waterway that crosses through the campus. This way, employees and guests will be able to enjoy expansive greenspace next to the Arthrex Event and Administration Building without disrupting the canal.
The new buildings will incorporate fair trade bamboo floors, a much more sustainable option than traditional hardwood flooring, and recycled rubber flooring in the fitness center. The ceiling tiles selected are made from 37 percent recycled material and are more moisture-resistant than most brands, lessening the need to replace the panels as time passes. The administrative building will have carbon negative carpet tiles and the Facilities team is working with sustainable furniture company Herman Miller to select responsibly sourced, recyclable products. Herman Miller has been an upstanding eco-friendly company since its foundation and aims to be a zero-waste facility by 2023.
Natural light is heavily incorporated in the buildings, which will cut down on energy usage. Many areas will be outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows. The glass walls and windows are made with low-emissivity (“low-e”) glass, which better insulates the building by keeping the cool air inside.
The new parking garage will have several electric car charging stations to accommodate employees with environmentally friendly vehicles and Arthrex bicycles will be available to help employees navigate the campus with ease.
Keith and the EH&S team work closely with Maintenance and Facilities not only to meet all local, state and federal environmental regulations, but to go beyond the requirements. He said, “We want to exceed expectations whenever we can by recycling appropriately and reducing our overall waste. It’s important to every aspect of the company. We want employees and customers to feel good about how we’re doing business.”
Arthrex employees around the world agree that green practices are important to our own well-being as well as the company’s. Arthrex GmbH, our EMEA headquarters located in Germany, has been a European Union Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) certified organization since 2016. This certification is essentially “one level higher” than the ISO 14001 environmental standard, according to EMEA Corporate Sustainability Manager Madeleine König. In addition to the LED and motion activated lighting and the campus bikes that Arthrex Inc. uses in the United States, Arthrex GmbH has some additional, unique green elements.
The office uses green stationary (pens made from starch, highlighters made from recycled plastic and recycled paper) and doesn’t offer plastic plates or cutlery for employee lunches. Ink cartridges are always recycled and use of disposable battery-powered equipment is increasingly minimal to cut down on waste.
The new Arthrex MobileLab One (ML1), which travels throughout Germany, Poland, Austria and Switzerland to provide convenient access to Arthrex medical education for health care professionals, has 12 solar panels on the roof. When fully charged by the sun, the solar panels provide the lab with an entire day of electricity. The next mobile labs in EMEA will incorporate the same design. The Munich office is also adding rooftop solar panels in the near future and uses “green heating” from the nearby geothermal power plant in Odelzhausen.
“Our goal is to continuously improve on our green goals and spread the word that sustainability is a very important factor of market differentiation, especially in Europe,” said Madeleine.
Arthrex GmbH prioritizes preserving its ecological habitat and has fruit trees, seasonal plants, insect hotels, green rooftops and beehives onsite. Fresh water is sourced from the building’s own well and a company garden project is planned to launch later this year.
The GmbH team is participating in the “Company in Bloom” competition this year, which recognizes the greenest companies in Bavaria for their effort to preserve natural habitats on their premises. The Bavarian state will visit the Arthrex GmbH campus in June and winners will be selected at the end of the summer.
“I’m proud to tell my friends and family that Arthrex is unlike any other company,” said Madeleine. “Arthrex leadership motivates us to take these environmental considerations for ourselves and our customers, not to foster a public image. We consider the environment when evaluating the complete supply chain and lifecycle of our products as well as our daily operations here in Europe. I very much like this authenticity in our motivation for sustainability.”
While Arthrex’s global footprint continues to grow, its carbon footprint keeps getting smaller. From the way our materials are collected to how our facilities are powered, environmental impact reduction is key to how Arthrex does business around the world.