Green Initiatives at The Jackson Laboratory

In a world where “going green” is become an increasingly integral part of the collective consciousness, it should come as no surprise that, given our commitment to excellence in all our endeavors, going green is one of our top priorities. Following is a fairly comprehensive list of the green policies that we at The Jackson Laboratory have implemented:

Energy Efficiency

  • The Jackson Laboratory has installed a new energy plant that will be the first of its kind in the U.S. It will use the most efficient technology to combust sustainably harvested wood pellets, reducing the Laboratory's number-two fuel oil consumption by 1.2 million gallons per year and delivering significant environmental benefits.
  • The Jackson Laboratory received the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership award for energy conservation leadership in the New England region.
  • Buildings completed since 2000 were specifically designed for highly energy-efficient operation and lowest overall life-cycle operating cost keeping in line with LEED design principles and philosophies.
  • Lighting and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems comply with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
  • Our Infrared Thermography Program improves the insulation characteristics of our buildings.
  • Variable-frequency drives save energy by allowing our fans and pumps to turn at the minimum speed.
  • Our high-efficiency motors exceed the efficiency mandated by codes and standards.
  • Our Steam System Maintenance Program minimizes heat lost in the distribution and use of steam.
  • We have replaced outdated lighting systems with high-efficiency fluorescent lights and ballast systems tied to motion-detectors and timers, ensuring that lights are on only when needed. We have also limited our use of nighttime exterior lighting which in addition to saving energy, lessens our light pollution signature.
  • Campus boilers are equipped with precision controls for maximum fuel efficiency.
  • Our new "green" chillers have a non-HCFC (non-ozone depleting) refrigerant and are equipped with energy-efficient variable frequency drives, providing chilled water at the highest efficiency available.
  • 100% outside air economizers are used on all our HVAC systems, taking advantage of "free cooling" when ambient temperatures allow.
  • Instantaneous water heaters in newer campus buildings generate hot water only when needed, reducing the energy required to keep standby water hot.
  • As part of our comprehensive energy management program we have adjusted our environmental set points thereby reducing our impact on the environment, lessening our dependence on foreign fossil fuel resources, and promoting a culture of conservation at The Jackson Laboratory

Reducing, Reusing, Recycling

  • Our new trade-show booth is constructed primarily of recycled styrofoam packing peanuts.
  • We recycle more than 60 tons of paper and cardboard each year.
  • Most of the documents we produce for external distribution (annual reports, magazines, brochures, etc.) are printed on Forest Stewardship Council certified, mainly recycled paper, using soy-based inks, by a printing company that boasts 100% wind power generation.
  • We recycle more than 3,000 pounds of glass each year.
  • About 8,600 yards (1,800 tons) of the wood shavings we use as mouse bedding are composted each year.
  • Our Shipping and Receiving Department provides battery and ink cartridge recycling depositories.
  • We recycle all non-functioning or outdated computers.
  • Since 1995, our Water Reduction Program has reduced water use by 20 percent.
  • We send internal mail via reusable envelopes.
  • Facilities Services project administration, traditionally known to be paper-intensive, is now utilizing electronic document delivery and storage whenever possible, which greatly reduces the volume of paper used over the life of a project.
  • Our dining facility, Roscoe's, has additional recycling initiatives, such as recycling coffee grounds as compost for local gardens, providing biodegradable paper plates and napkins made from recycled paper, saving appropriate kitchen scraps to feed local pigs and donating kitchen grease for production of biodiesel.

Environmentally Sound Landscaping and Maintenance

  • We use organic fertilizer and pest and disease control products, and natural alternative ice melt.
  • We compost all leaves and grass clippings and use them for plantings.
  • We mulch planting beds, reducing the need for water and fertilizer.
  • We have improved drainage systems, reducing erosion and sediment runoff into surrounding streams.
  • We are reducing the quantity of lawn areas and introducing native plantings, such as wildflowers and groundcovers, reducing maintenance, use of grounds equipment, fuel, and emissions, and providing a more attractive and natural appearance.
  • We are using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards to select “green” renewable building materials (stone, brick, aluminum, steel, copper, cork, and wood).
  • We have replaced harsh chemical-based cleaning products with green cleaning products.
  • Our Custodial Department uses trash bags made of at least 30% post-consumer waste; it also uses “Echo Mops” composed of 30% post-consumer waste, 67% post-industrial waste, and free from post-recycling dyes.

Reducing the Number of Cars on the Road

  • We operate a carpool and busing program that reduces the number of vehicles traveling to and from MDI each day by more than 200:
    • Together with Downeast Transportation, we provide a weekday commuter bus service to and from Bangor, Cherryfield, Franklin, and Ellsworth for about 180 riders.
    • About 50 employees who carpool and enroll with the state’s GoMaine program not only cut their commuting costs, but they get preferred parking spaces.
  • Our JAXFit wellness program encourages employees who live nearby to walk or ride a bicycle to work. To accommodate these people, we have installed additional bike racks and showers.
  • To promote walking, we installed a sidewalk (at our expense) on Schooner Head Road and have partnered with Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia to extend the community connector trails program through Jackson Laboratory properties connecting the village to Sand Beach via the Red Path Trail restoration project.
  • We minimize travel miles by teleconferencing and videoconferencing with the University of Maine and the University of Heidelberg, and we facilitate distance learning with the University of Maine, high school students in North Carolina, and the Maine School of Science and Mathematics.

Keeping MDI Beautiful

  • In the 1920s, wealthy summer residents of Mount Desert Island promoted the establishment of a national park and scientific research laboratories, including the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory and the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory, to preserve the island’s natural environment and prevent the incursion of the logging industry.
  • In keeping with the Dark Sky initiative, our shielded lighting protects the night skies.
  • Our campus is designed to blend into its natural surroundings.
  • We are located on the officially designated Scenic Byway.
  • We installed paths and benches to encourage employees to take lunchtime and other breaks outdoors.
  • Jackson Laboratory teams take part each year in the Friends of Acadia Earth Day Cleanup.