Sercon are dedicated to the design, manufacture and support of Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometers and their associated sample preparation systems. We are also dedicated to minimising our impact on the environment. Our operations are constantly evaluated to minimise waste and we meet or exceed all environmental legislation related to our industry.
How do we go that step further?
Our instruments are designed with the environment in mind
When developing a new machine, we consider the environment in the choice of parts used, energy efficiency of the products, and whether the parts can be recycled at end of life.
Our elemental analysers use low helium flow
Helium is a finite resource and shortages from gas suppliers are now becoming common. Our EAs run on 65 ml/min He flow in normal mode, 25 ml/min in low volume mode, and 10 ml/min in standby mode.
We actively promote recycling
Sercon recycle all material possible within the factory in order to reduce waste to landfill, and ensure all suppliers have a similar policy.
We maintain old instruments
Sercon have a policy of maintaining instruments whatever their age. Whilst it may occasionally be necessary to upgrade electronics, pumping systems and autosamplers, the fundamental components of a mass spectrometer (i.e. source, flight tube, magnet etc) have a long lifetime, and we will always enable customers to keep their instruments running, including those manufactured by PDZ Europa / Europa Scientific. Any old instruments which customers wish to have removed are brought back to the factory to be used for spares.
We source all possible components locally
Most of our suppliers are based in the north west of the UK, close to Sercon HQ, to minimise emissions due to transport of goods.
Our high sensitivity source enables small samples to be measured
This also means small volumes of reference materials can be used, minimising the use of finite and expensive isotopic reference materials.
We minimise our carbon footprint
Delivery is by freight forwarding companies who are already delivering across the UK and internationally to reduce the carbon footprint. Wherever possible, we conduct meetings over the phone or via Skype. In order to minimise our environmental impact due to flights and transport of goods, we minimise our conference attendance to those which are deemed the most important. For other conferences attended by scientists who use our instruments, we offer support to young researchers to attend.
In our office we consider the environment in the following ways:
We aim to reduce our waste by:
- Reusing materials wherever possible
- Printing and photocopying is kept to a minimum and when required is printed double-sided. We aim to be as paperless in the offices as much as possible.
- Buying only what we need
- Using local suppliers to reduce our carbon footprint and support the local economy
- Efficient use of water and energy
- Use of biodegradable chemicals
- Minimising petrol usage by carefully planning rotas and visits
- Minimising use of solvents and lead-based paints
- Buying products with little packaging
- Buying non-toxic products whenever possible
- Ensuring that the last person leaving a building checks all lights and power are off
- Minimise waste by evaluating operations and ensuring they are as efficient as possible.
- Minimise toxic emissions through the selection and the source of its power requirement.
- Source and promote a product range to minimise the environmental impact of both production and distribution.
- Meet or exceed all the environmental legislation that relates to the Company.
- Use an accredited program to offset the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our activities.
- Cycle to Work scheme (many employees use this scheme as we employ staff from the local area).
- Many of our staff also travel by train as we are only a 10-minute walk from the Crewe mainline railway station.
We aim to reuse our waste by:
- Unusable metal goes to a scrap merchants for recycling
- Reusing packaging and other materials such as
- Cardboard, Newspaper and Bubble Wrap
- Jars and Pots
- Plastic and Paper Bags
- Paper printed on only one side is reused for printing drafts on and only recycled when both sides have been used.
- Using rechargeable batteries
We actively promote recycling both internally and amongst our customers and suppliers.We recycle our waste by:
- Sorting site waste to separate recyclable materials
- Buying products that can be recycled
- Buying products that have been made from recycled material
- Using recycling bins
- Recycling paper, glass, cans, plastic, printer cartridges, bottles etc.
In addition, we collect and sort unused packing to give to local charity shops, and all shredded paper goes to a cats shelter.
We minimise the use of energy wherever possible by not switching on electrical items which are not required, by always turning off lights when leaving the office for some time (i.e. lunchtime) and by always turning off monitors when away from desks for a reasonable time. The lights on the test floor are on sensors and only operate when daylight through the windows is insufficient.We also on a personal level look to minimise our use of unnecessary resources, including by sharing lifts when possible.