Eurofins considers that due to the very essence of its mission and activities it is contributing to the improvement of the wellbeing of mankind and to the protection of our environment. More specifically Eurofins' food and environmental testing services directly support the responsible use and minimisation of such things as pesticides, heavy metals, dioxins, persistent organic pollutants and chemical contaminants that are harmful to humans and the planet.
Consumption of Scarce Resources
In general, the activity of Eurofins as a provider of testing and analysis services necessitates the use of limited amounts of water, raw material and energy (principally electricity and liquid nitrogen). The Company is aware that the long-term conservation of scarce resources will benefit not only the planet but also its own profitability. As water, raw materials and energy are all costs to the business, managers are always looking at reducing their consumption as part of good operating practices.
Subsidiaries in Brazil, the Benelux and Scandinavia already attempt wherever possible to use renewable energy such as that generated by wind, water or the Sun. Several laboratories also use energy created by recycled heat or from waste-fired energy generators.
Among other examples of energy saving measures, several units use sleep modes for IT equipment, set up timers on electrical devices, or invest in new equipment with lower energy consumption.
Furthermore, Eurofins large investment programme in new and better laboratories always results in more environmentally friendly facilities than the old ones. New heating equipment is more efficient than old equipment and modern insulation is also better at retaining or protecting from heat. The European Union's incoming regulation on low-energy light bulbs will also benefit Eurofins in this respect.
Pollution and Contamination
Eurofins uses solvents and chemical products which are kept in secure locations. After use these products are collected and recycled by specialist waste disposal businesses. In addition, by its development at the cutting-edge of environmental analysis the Eurofins contributes by its work to the protection of the environment.
Recycling is now a normal part of life in many countries. As well as the chemicals mentioned above, Eurofins laboratories recycle a wide range of products: paper, glass, plastic, cardboard, batteries, aluminium and IT equipment. Complementing this, in certain countries in which Eurofins operates, such as the United States, training programmes are developed for laboratory personnel in order to limit their impact on the environment.
Certain laboratories in several countries possess an "environmental licence" given by local authorities often in accordance with international standards and are subject to a prior external audit. An example is in Scandinavia where the implementation of an environmental management system, which enables the business to minimise its impact on the environment, to anticipate accidents and to plan to improve its environmental performance, enabled it to be accredited ISO14001. This process is part of a regular evaluation of the environmental impact of every business decision. Among the other accreditations obtained by Eurofins laboratories, we can quote the ISO 17025, the COFRAC, and the IBAMA accreditation in Brazil.
Environmental Risk Management
Several Eurofins laboratories have developed and set up dedicated training programmes to good practice in terms of environmental risk management (e.g. safe use of chemicals and their application, proper waste disposal, autoclaving systems for decontamination, etc.). Some of the laboratories have their own department or person responsible for safety ("Safety Officer") which carries out regular inspection and internal training on the issues of safety and the protection of the environment.