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PerkinElmer Recognized for Environmental Leadership by TURA Program

Facility awarded for significant reductions in its use of toxics used in production

Salem, Mass. – The Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) program and state legislators today presented PerkinElmer with an award in recognition of the company’s environmental leadership demonstrated by its illuminations facility in Salem, Mass.

PerkinElmer is one of only 17 Massachusetts companies being honored this spring by the TURA program as a “TURA 20th Anniversary Leader.” The award ceremonies that include facility tours are intended to showcase environmental accomplishments in areas of the use of safer materials, waste reductions and energy savings since the Toxics Use Reduction Act was enacted into law by the Massachusetts legislature in 1989.

“By paying close attention to details, PerkinElmer’s Salem facility has achieved significant reductions in chemicals use,” said Pam Eliason, industry research program manager of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell.  “In fact, this facility has spearheaded much of PerkinElmer’s corporate movement towards sustainable practices.”

PerkinElmer has been able to reduce its chemical, energy and water usage, and increase production, while continuing to meet the strict quality requirements of its medical/industrial devices and military customers.

The Salem facility, which currently employs 160 people, began reporting its use of chemicals to the TURA program in 1990. Since then, it has reduced its use of reportable solvents by 90 percent.

“By reevaluating our cleaning operations and employing classic toxics use reduction analyses, we have been able to significantly reduce our use of acids and other cleaning chemicals,” said Susan Lynn Marallo, environmental health and safety, and facilities manager at PerkinElmer. “We are now looking to switch even more of our product lines to the citrus-based cleaning technology used in one of our key military applications. Our core toxics use reduction planning and energy management system (EMS) group drives innovations at this facility. We welcome ideas from our employees about new product development, product formulations, and modernization of our production processes that often lead to reductions in our use of toxics.”

The Toxics Use Reduction Act was amended in 2006 to include water and energy conservation initiatives. PerkinElmer has made improvements in these two areas as well. The facility has incorporated toxics use reduction strategies into its EMS to monitor and control heating and cooling. The outcome of this effort resulted in a 50 percent reduction in electrical demand and 80 percent reduction in water usage.

The Toxics Use Reduction Act does not ban chemical use but requires companies to evaluate toxic chemical use, submit usage reports and plans to the state that assess the financial implications of switching to safer alternatives or making changes in production. Since 1989, Massachusetts companies voluntarily reduced toxic chemical use by 41 percent, waste by 71 percent and on-site releases by 91 percent.

About the Toxics Use Reduction Act Program

Twenty years ago, the Massachusetts legislature passed landmark legislation—the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA). Today, the TURA Program is considered a model environmental policy by other states and countries. The three agencies below have provided training, grants, technical assistance and support to help companies reduce toxic chemical use and costs, improve health and safety and establish new green markets.

  •  Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Provides education, training, and grants for Massachusetts industry and communities; sponsors research and demonstration sites on safer materials and technologies; provides policy analysis; and manages the TURA Science Advisory Board.
  •  Office of Technical Assistance & Technology (OTA).  A non-regulatory agency within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs that provides free, confidential, on-site technical and compliance consultations to Massachusetts businesses and institutions.
  •  Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).  Certifies Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) Planners, receives and reviews toxics use reports submitted by companies, provides guidance, takes enforcement actions, and collects chemical use data and makes it available to the public.
By reevaluating our cleaning operations and employing classic toxics use reduction analyses, we have been able to significantly reduce our use of acids and other cleaning chemicals.
- Susan Lynn Marallo, facilities manager at PerkinElmer