Wearing a proud shade of green

Roche Canada notches up several successes in environment efforts in new premises. By Sri Chaudhuri

A little over a year ago Roche Pharma Canada moved to its new premises in Mississauga. Part of that move involved looking at the environment goals closely and putting systems and efforts in place to make the campus a model for sustainability. A year later, the Canadian team has been able to notch up several successes and want to take it a step further.

“Reducing Roche’s environmental footprint has always been part of our day-to-day workplace routine,” says Tanya Bendo, Director, Safety, Health, Environment, & Corporate Services. “In order to guide us through our efforts, we follow two global Roche directives that focus on shifting the organisation towards greater sustainability.”
One of these directives called K6 is aimed at reducing of harmful substances which deplete the ozone layer or affect the climate. “Roche was guided by this directive in its handling, disposal and gradual elimination of ozone depleting compounds,” points out Tanya. “The second directive called K18 is more focused on energy consumption and creates a guiding principle under which Roche strategically conserves energy while committing to sustainable development.”

Steps in the right direction

Keeping these in mind in the new premises, the Roche Canada team has been able to reach its goal of zero waste- to- landfill. With an effort that began in 2013, even before the move, this concerted shift in mind-set of the colleagues has led to bottled water or take out containers being limited to occasional special events only. Another success was the switch to the ammonia based cooling system that is an ozone-friendly alternative to the previous HVAC cooling system. Primary refrigeration coolers and freezers in the kitchen also operate with ozone-friendly compounds. Upgraded mechanical equipment for the building operation, including new energy efficient heating boilers, are being used.

“We have installed an automated light harvesting system that controls and balances both natural light and fluorescent lights allowing the illumination in the building to adjust according to natural levels and based on occupancy. This limits our energy consumption. We also use LED lighting where possible,” explains Tanya.

At the forefront of this effort has been the work of the Roche Canada SHE team. And putting it into action every day have been all the employees who come in with a commitment to work in an environmentally sustainable workplace. “Our energy conservation and waste reduction targets continue to improve because of the involvement of the employees. In addition we also choose our key suppliers and other partners very carefully and try to only work with those who share our desire and goal to be an industry leader in sustainability,” reiterates Tanya. Several local recognitions and awards have followed.

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