Merit Medical has made it a priority to be a responsible global citizen. This environmental stewardship has translated into innovative practices and processes that are productive, efficient, and rewarding. In recognition of Earth Day 2018, Merit Medical is pleased to shine a spotlight on some of the efforts we have undertaken at the Salt Lake City, Utah, corporate headquarters and thank all the employees who contribute to this effort.
In addition to the 33.25 tons of paper, cardboard, and food and beverage containers that our Salt Lake City employees saved from heading to the landfill, our Utah facilities also recycled over 464 tons of other materials, such as scrap metal and pallets. This is equivalent to saving 1,532 cubic yards of landfill space; 3,250,698 gallons of water; and 176,466 gallons of oil.
The molding process in the manufacture of disposable medical products can result in a surplus of plastic. Merit Medical has made a substantial effort to reduce plastic waste, recycling 270 Short Tons or 540,000 pounds of plastic molding waste in 2017.
Becoming more energy efficient is both financially and environmentally responsible. By participating in Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky program, Merit Medical reduced our 2017 carbon footprint by 7,593 pounds of CO2 and supported 8,400 kWh of renewable energy.
To help reduce the carbon footprints of our employee commuters and support those employees who choose to be more energy efficient, Merit recently installed electric car chargers in our parking structure at its Utah headquarters.
Other recent energy efficiency initiatives include replacing light bulbs throughout most of our Salt Lake City facilities with LED lighting, saving 521,442 kWh of energy in 2017. We have also invested in Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) for our heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, which regulate their activity and make our buildings more energy efficient.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized symbol of excellence in green building. Merit is pleased to have been awarded Silver LEED certification for the newest building at our Salt Lake City, Utah, corporate headquarters.
Completed in 2014, The Bean Building has a number of features that place it high on the LEED certification scale. With alternative transportation capability, the Bean Building is a convenient hub for public transportation access, bicycle storage and changing rooms, and low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. To heat and cool with minimal ecological impact, we have selected refrigerants and equipment that reduce or eliminate the emission of compounds that contribute to ozone depletion.
In alignment with LEED’s global sustainability agenda, the newest addition to our Utah Merit campus acts on the triple bottom line—putting people, the planet, and profit first. 1
Did you know that only about 3% of all water on earth is fresh water? 2 And based on statewide average precipitation, Merit’s home state of Utah has been ranked the second driest state in the US. 3 By putting into motion water conservation practices, Merit Medical is helping to protect this limited resource while simultaneously cutting energy use and costs.
In the last couple of years, many of the grassy areas at our corporate offices in Salt Lake City have been replaced with rockscapes, a more water-efficient style of landscaping that is both attractive and helps to reduce water usage. As an additional initiative to reduce lawn space, we built a large employee garden where Merit employees can do their part to conserve water, get their hands dirty, and be rewarded with the fruits of their labor—literally.
For when water is used, we have invested in water efficiency technology, such as drip irrigation, adjustable watering heads, and a smart water system that can detect rainfall and automatically turn off in order to conserve water.
Being outdoors and human health go hand in hand. That is why we have created green spaces for our employees, encouraging their physical and emotional health to thrive.
A walking path circles the perimeter of the Salt Lake City complex, making it possible for employees to incorporate daily relaxing physical activity outdoors. Two full-time gardeners are part of the Merit team, who teach gardening techniques and cooking classes for optimal nutrition. Classes are not only held in the kitchen, as they also include time spent in the employee garden, highlighting gardening techniques that promote a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
It is estimated that food in the US travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles to get from farm to plate. 4 Eating locally through our employee garden can help reduce the carbon footprint that is generated from transporting food over long distances.
At Merit we believe what we do today impacts the well-being of future generations. By making intentional decisions that support the health of our planet, we stand by our commitment to continuously improve the lives of people, families, and communities worldwide.
- US Green Building Council. (2017, Oct). About LEED. Retrieved from https://www.usgbc.org/articles/about-leed
- US Geological Survey. (2016, Dec 2). The World’s Water. Retrieved from https://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthwherewater.html
- Osborn, L. (n.d.) Driest States in America. Retrieved from https://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/US/driest-states.php
- World Watch Institute. (2018, Apr 20). Globetrotting Food Will Travel Farther Than Ever This Thanksgiving. Retrieved from http://www.worldwatch.org/globetrotting-food-will-travel-farther-ever-thanksgiving