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Minimizing Waste through Practical Process Improvement

Posted by Dawn Eltermann on Jun 28, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Lab_Video_Screenshot1-resized-600.pngPersonal Protective Equipment (PPE) is necessary to ensure the safety of personnel in a biopharma environment.  However, have you ever considered the amount of waste that accumulates from the use of laboratory nitrile gloves and other single use apparel?

For an industry working to improve the lives of patients around the world, in many cases we are blindly contributing to the increase of our carbon footprint.  In this blog, we’ll discuss how Fisher BioServices maintained employee safety and increased operational efficiencies while reducing wasteful use of PPE.

In keeping with Corporate Social Responsibility, we are continuously looking to incorporate sustainable solutions into our daily activities.  As a services-based business, this can be a challenge.  During a risk management conference, Kimberly-Clark Professional shared their Right Cycle Program which diverts laboratory nitrile gloves and single use apparel from waste streams and turns them into raw materials used to create eco-friendly consumer products and durable goods.  Our Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) department saw potential application and multiple win-wins for our business and customers through this program.

We hit the ground running and partnered with Kimberly-Clark to establish the Right Cycle Program to recycle the nitrile gloves used at our facilities.  By working with Kimberly-Clark, on-site safety leads and leadership we were able to share the potential benefits of this program with our employees.  The program was fully embraced by our teams and implemented at five site locations, successfully diverting a ton of glove waste from landfills in 2016. 

Through Right Cycle, Fisher BioServices was able to reduce our costs, divert a waste stream, reduce our carbon footprint, enhance employee engagement and increase operational efficiencies.  As a result, on April 20, 2017 Fisher BioServices was awarded the Kimberly-Clark 2017 Chelsea Santucci Greenovation Award from Kimberly-Clark Professional.

Practical Process Improvement (PPI) is at the core of our business and a value that we work towards diligently. Oftentimes, these process improvement projects occur behind the scenes, but prove to have the most outstanding results for our clients.  Receiving the Greenovation Award further emphasizes our commitment to improving our processes for the betterment of our customers and employees.

To learn more about the work that we're doing internally to ensure our external operations run smoothly, please download InsideAccess: Making the Most of Near Misses. It explains how our team developed a solution which resulted in an exceptional level of accuracy in fulfilling orders for shipment.

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