Surmodics, a leading medical device company based in the IDA Business Park , Ballinasloe, has recently received the "Zero Project Earth Day Award 2021" based on their sustainability journey with The City Bin Co.
Surmodics identified the need to increase recycling rates and their sustainability efforts, whilst reducing costs, and therefore kickstarted The Zero Project.
Prior to February of this year, the firm were using a number of 1100 litre bins for both general waste and recycling. The bins were many different colours and therefore caused confusion in terms of waste segregation, which resulted in low recycling rates. The site was producing enormous amounts of grass, which was being tended to by a tractor lawn mower, resulting in high carbon emissions.
Since February 2021, Surmodics kickstarted their sustainability journey with "The Zero Project" - the company's efforts been led by Conor Forde, Senior Facilities Engineer. The City Bin Co. installed Front End Loader (FEL) bins onsite. The type of waste generated by the plant is dry industrial and therefore a good fit for the FEL bins. The waste is removed and transported to a recycling depot where it is sorted and either reused or recycled, helping the company divert waste from landfill.
The team on the project replaced outdoor and indoor fluorescent lights with LED lights, resulting in a total carbon saving of 25.5 tonnes, and there is no longer any fluorescent gas or lamps waste to dispose of. They also introduced light sensors that control 95% of Surmodics’ lights, ensuring lights automatically switch off during quieter times, saving energy.
Surmodics have started working towards a paperless business by introducing an e-signatures, thereby creating a paperless accounts payment system. The firm has provided keep cups and re-usable water bottles for their employees, cutting down on unneeded waste.
An electric robot lawnmower, the Mobot, which does not waste grass and does not require fuel to cut the grass , was acquired In March - resulting in carbon savings of 0.6 tonnes for the site. Recently the City Bin Co. carried out a waste audit onsite and put a plan together to ensure segregation of waste.
For the remainder of 2021, Surmodics sustainability plan is to ensure that the Zero Project standard is maintained across the site. Environmental training and awareness initiatives for employees is key to implementing sustainability in the workplace and an important element to this is generating environmental ideas from colleagues in order to continue the Surmodics journey to sustainability.
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