When we developed our patented fiber racks for 15 and 50mL tubes in 1994 we didn't have the term Sustainable Development to use so we came up with Earth Friendly®. Now Earth Friendly® is a registered trade mark of Labcon, North America and incorporates all we know about Sustainability*. Our next steps were to continue to innovate products with reduced consumption like the Pagoda® pipet tip reloading system, the first of its kind. We moved on to design a micro centrifuge tube that uses half the plastic of other tubes but still can be boiled without opening, the SuperClear™. We also invested in a solvent-free system to print 15ml and 50ml centrifuge tubes so that there are no volatile organic compounds (VOC) vented to the atmosphere. This continous process improvement set the tone for the company and our later commitment to sustainable development.
In 2010 our understanding of sustainability led us to make one of the biggest investments in company history. We commited to install an 800kw rooftop solar array. That system, when completed, would supply almost one third of the power consumed by Labcon. When this solar array went operational in mid 2011 it provided about 30% of the energy needed to produce Labcon products. Today, you can see Labcon products carry the "Made with Solar Power™" trademark.
Labcon has taken some significant steps to address the concerns we share with our end users about packaging, product waste, and product life cycles.
Sustainability at Labcon
- We have embraced the concepts of Sustainable Development* as a part of our corporate operations..
- We have formed partnerships with end user companies that share our vision of Sustainable Development to better understand what we can do to reduce or eliminate the negative effects of what we take, what we make, and what we waste.
- We have also committed to developing products that look toward Sustainable Development for their inspiration at the same time that they achieve the high performance characteristics that you need
Our Green History
- 1994-Developed and patented first cardboard rack for centrifuge tubes replacing styrofoam racks. Received a US Patent for these racks
- 1995-Developed and introduced the Pak Rak® system for VWR. The most earth friendly pipet tip rack refilling system. Received several US and International patents.
- 1995-Developed the EARTH FRIENDLY® branding for sustainable products.
- 1997-Asked to work with Monsanto to focus on Eco Efficiency in disposable labware.
- 1998-Asked to join the U.S. President’s Council on Sustainability for a forum in Washington DC.
- 2000-Developed low waste micro centrifuge tubes that use 50% less plastic than other tubes.
- 2001-Became consumer of waste plastics, turning waste into new products.
- 2003-Opened a new facility focusing on energy efficiency.
- 2004-Won energy efficiency award from PGE for reduction of energy consumed by manufacturers.
- 2006-Began program of replacing equipment to focus on reduced material and energy.
- 2007-Achieved 30% reduction in energy used to make products.
- 2008-Introduced first BIO PLASTIC resin products, made with corn resins (Eclipse™).
- 2009-Added centrifuge tube product line (PerformR™) with tubes in permanent reusable racks.
- 2011-Completed 800kw Rooftop Solar Power array that produces 30% of overall energy.
- 2011-Received Solar Leaders Award for commitment to renewable energy.
The Earth Friendly® Brand
You may notice the Earth Friendly® symbol in our literature and on our product packaging and wonder just what it means. We all are skeptical of products that incorporate unsubstantiated environmental claims and today it seems that everyone offers some products with an environmental "angle" or what some call "green" marketing. We believe that our end users want what we want as conscientious consumers; products that provide the performance we need with the additional benefit of reducing our consumption of the worlds limited resources.