Environment, health, and safety
We are committed to acting in a sustainable and responsible manner by keeping our environmental impact to a minimum, reducing waste, and handling it in a safe and responsible way. We operate in a highly regulated sector and are subject to numerous laws and regulations pertaining to impact on the environment, well-being of employees, safety, and management of laboratory waste, which also is audited. The effectiveness of our Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) efforts is anchored in the shared responsibility of our staff in ensuring a safe, healthy and environmentally friendly work environment: every employee is responsible for protecting people and environment, in and around his or her workplace.
We currently have a limited impact on the environment, as at present, we have no production sites, we own no buildings, and our administrative facilities have only minor environmental liabilities such as waste handling and emissions from fume hoods. Nonetheless, we aim to reduce our environmental impact further by recycling and replacing paper for digital means altogether. We maintain safety monitoring records, in compliance with applicable legislation. We treat our dangerous waste in accordance with local laws, and we ensure that training of employees takes place on all handling of hazardous materials, laboratory and other safety aspects, and other relevant policies for conducting our business.
We also take reasonable and practical initiatives to eliminate accidents and ill health and to provide a safe work environment and processes. Our goal is to have work form part of a satisfying life, which is to the benefit of both the individual and the organization.
Environmental, health, and safety - actions 2018
- We hired a full time EHS Manager for the group with the mandate to assess current EHS efforts and establish an improvement roadmap
- We established a company-wide EHS framework based on ISO 45001 (HS)+ISO 14001 (E)
- There were no safety incidents reported, no recordable injury counts, no fatalities, and no days away from work reported due to safety issues in 2018
- We completed an environmental audit in Leiden and a Federal Agency for nuclear control audit in Mechelen. There were no major citations recorded in these audits, and all sites were compliant with applicable EHS laws & regulations in 2018
- We completed compliance reviews for health and safety and environment in each of the Leiden, Mechelen, and Romainville sites, with a number of improvement items identified. Following the findings, we set priorities and prepared action plans for each site, completing most actions
- At our Mechelen site we decommissioned one of our two radio-isotope laboratories. Fluorescence and luminescence-based technologies were used instead and we did not use radioisotopes in 2018. This further reduced our toxic and dangerous waste flows
- We rolled out a company-wide implementation of Skype video meetings in an effort to reduce business travel by employees
- We organized exclusive use of green energy at our Mechelen site starting in 2019
- We plan to establish green car options in our company car fleet to start in 2019
- Investigate the possibilities to expand green energy use to other sites
- Make employees more aware of the need to limit the environmental impact in their workplaces
- We aim to use fewer radio-isotopes
- Establish further EHS key performance indicators for internal monitoring and external reporting