How We Manage Water, Effluents and Waste
We use water in our laboratories, and for drinking, food preparation, cleaning and sanitation.
Our Operational Integrity and Corporate Sustainability teams oversee water management. Specifically, water efficiency is managed through the SGS Energy Efficiency in Buildings program. Requirements for water use, reduction, monitoring and reuse are incorporated in our green building checklist (which is used for new buildings and major renovations to existing buildings) as well as our HSE self-assessment checklist. We track our water usage through our Solaris data management system and benchmark our trend countries against one another.
In December 2014, SGS signed the WASH Pledge which commits signatory companies to ensuring appropriate access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for all employees in all premises under company control within three years of signing the pledge.
Effluents and Waste Management
Our diverse business produces many different types of waste. Examples include normal office waste, test samples and used chemicals from our laboratories. Waste streams vary according to which industries are served in each affiliate.
Waste management is part of our Operational Integrity Management System (OIMS). The SGS Waste Management and Minimization Standard describes how we reduce and manage waste in compliance with regulations. A requirement of this standard is that each SGS facility, using guidance from the Operational Integrity team, must develop and implement a Waste Management Plan that covers the management and disposal of each waste stream, including waste minimization procedures and goals. These set out:
- Roles and responsibilities
- The identified waste streams
- Management practices for waste labeling, storage, inspection and disposal
- Waste minimization and reuse/recycling opportunities
Waste management procedures are being implemented across our affiliates as part of our OIMS deployment. Following this, we will report on waste management across our sites.
Reducing Waste: Our Do More with Lëss campaign encourages resource efficiency in our offices and laboratories by minimizing printing and optimizing consumables such as paper and ink. We promote recycling of office waste through effective waste separation and we signal external resources to help us to reuse and recycle materials.
Reusing Resources: We encourage the exchange of surplus laboratory equipment across our network through the EquipNet platform. We also donate hygienic waste samples from our laboratories for charitable purposes. For example, waste cloth from our textile testing laboratories is donated to the Goonj project in India to be made into sanitary products.
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