Commitment to Green
Alternative Design is committed to the development of new products that will enable our customers to reduce their environmental footprint. Our products enable our customers to reduce their labor, energy and water consumption. Products are designed to work with our existing equipment so past, present and future customers can benefit and reduce their environmental impact without making additional capital investments.
Green Influence – Environmental Impact Assessment
The primary materials used in the manufacture of our animal caging systems are stainless steel and plastics. Both of these materials are recyclable and reusable resources. At Alternative Design, it’s our policy during the manufacturing process to save and sell to recyclers all of our stainless steel scrap material. Our plastics supplier also saves excess resin from the manufacturing of our plastic cages and regrinds the excess to make other products or sells it on the open market to other molders. In the past, Alternative Design has taken the excess plastic resin from our molding process and made plastic cages from the regrind and sold it to our customers at lower prices than standard new plastic cages. This helps reduce the amount of non-degradable material going into landfills. The electronic circuit boards used in ventilated systems are RoHS compliant; meaning no lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), or mercury (Hg) among other harmful elements that could pose harm either to the animals or the environment. Our air handling units draw very low amounts of electricity to reduce utility cost. Alternative Design also recycles its paper & cardboard waste products and partners with our local community’s recycling project to recycle aluminum soda cans and plastic water bottles used by employees. Finally, the company has no industrial waste discharge for a very small environmental footprint. Alternative Design also partners with animal research facilities to provide guidance in the production of products that reduce vivarium energy usage and costs. Our company has developed newer exhaust designs that remove the high animal heat and gases from its ventilated racks and directly into the building exhaust ductwork. By not allowing the animal heat and gases into the large animal rooms, the facility can lower the air changes in a room. This creates significant reductions in both costs savings and energy use.
Lean & Green Initiatives
In 2000, Alternative Design built a state of the art production facility that can deliver either mass production or custom projects in a cost-effective and timely manner. This facility was designed to add needed equipment and a production flow through floor plan to gain efficiencies and better serve the growing customer demand for our animal housing systems. In 2008, the company initiated a Lean Suggestion Program that encourages and rewards all company employees in recognizing wasted time, resources and energy within our processes and recommend ways to improve workflow efficiencies. The program has resulted in many improvements that help the company keep prices low for our customers. In early 2010, the company implemented a Green Project, retrofitting the production facility with energy efficient lighting. This is yet another example of how Alternative Design is committed to keeping our costs down for our customers, while also reducing our energy consumption and the impact on the environment.
In 2009, Alternative Design introduced the ECO Liner, an economical cage liner made from 100% recyclable material that inserts into a standard plastic rodent cage to extend the period between cage washes. Facilities are able to reduce cage wash and sterilizing cost by at least 50%, while also increasing cage wash capacity. As a recyclable cage insert product, ECO Liner helps to reduce labor and energy costs while providing vivariums with a sustainable green solution.