The precious resources on our planet must be respected and well managed. From how we use water, to conserving energy, we are finding new and innovative ways to lead the charge on sustainable health care.

We know there are only so many natural resources in the world. As a leader, it’s our role to help steward the use of these resources in the community lab sector to ensure healthy futures for all Canadians.

Sustainability Image


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.

At LifeLabs, we are leading the community laboratory sector in innovations in wastewater management. In partnership with our vendor, we have invested over $3 million since 2008 to develop an innovative system to treat sodium azide. Sodium azide is a preservation agent used in many lab tests. It is highly hazardous and, if not managed appropriately, can pose significant risks to employees, facilities and the environment.

Our unique system we developed breaks down the sodium azide and removes contaminants from the water before it is returned to the public system. We are the first diagnostic testing lab in Canada to implement this sodium azide treatment system, demonstrating our commitment to environmental responsibility in healthcare.

Our commitment to building healthier communities and preserving our water resources will continue to grow as we work to incorporate green technologies into our operations.

Each year we collect millions of litres of wastewater containing sodium azide, filter it and treat it with ozone, similar to the cleaning process used in some swimming pools. This process destroys the sodium azide, and the end result is clean water that is safely returned to the ecosystem.
Lousie Nagy, National Director Community & Environmental Sustainability

Photos above show Waste Water Treatment System



Power Smart

What difference can a simple light bulb make? About 80% less energy. When you multiple that by 2,200 fixtures, that’s a lot of energy savings! Not only does that save energy, but it reduces the amount of pollution created, resources to help make that energy, and helps us minimize our environmental footprint. Small changes like changing light bulbs can have huge impacts!

Sustainability Image

We are taking an additional step towards sustainability, one bulb at a time. Through a lighting efficiency upgrade program, LifeLabs has converted more than 2,200 fixtures to light-emitting diode (LED) technology in labs across Canada. These improvements significantly reduce carbon emissions, reduce waste, and save on energy costs.

So far, the new LED fixtures have been installed in all of our major buildings, including three of our main labs. In most cases, these new bulbs are 80% more efficient than fluorescent lights because they emit considerably less heat. LEDs also have the added benefit of lasting 50,000 hours more than fluorescent lights – and they contain no mercury.


The added benefit of the LED lights is that they also provide higher-quality lighting with no ultraviolet emissions, which reduces potential eye strain. It’s amazing to think that the small action of replacing a light-bulb has such a major impact on our employees and the environment. Many of my colleagues are making the switch in their own homes. That’s the kind of broader impact that we were hoping for.
David Lafraniere, National Director Real Estate and Facilities