We aren’t just adopting green technologies – we’re creating them. From the front lines to our laboratories, teams across LifeLabs are constantly asking how we can continually improve what we do to create a healthier Canada, and a healthier planet.
Innovating for a Sustainable Future
Diagnostic testing requires the use of different chemicals such as methanol to produce results. Flushing these chemicals away is simply not an option. In fact, for methanol, we don’t even dispose of it and have technology in place that allows us to reuse it. Innovation plays a major role in the work that we do every day. In September 2017, our Environmental Sustainability team launched a pilot project to recycle methanol in the stain used by our hematology lab to dye slides.
Methanol and other chemicals are prohibited from entering municipal wastewater systems and are disposed of as chemical waste through a third-party-supplier. In order to reduce the amount of chemical waste produced by our labs, the pilot project works to distill and recapture the methanol. The pilot revolved around the installation of a new Procycler™ methanol recovery unit, which repurposes up to 100% of methanol that was previously disposed of as chemical waste.
This pilot generated a significant reduction in the purchase of new methanol, a great step towards reducing our environmental impact. By installing this new system, we are working to keep our lab operations sustainable by reducing our purchasing, disposal, and carbon footprint.
With the success of the pilot, we are rolling out the methanol recycling system to our laboratories in Toronto, Mississauga, Victoria, Burnaby, and Belleville within the year.
Protecting our Water Supply
Almost every process in diagnostic testing relies on clean water to ensure high quality test results. Returning clean, safe and usable water is an important part of our commitment to our communities and our environment.