Our Environmental Impact

JAX Sustainability Statement

Sustainability is a complex, dynamic, and interconnected concept. JAX endeavors to make thoughtful, intentional decisions that align with our core values and support our vision for sustainability. We define sustainability as the union of environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic prosperity to create a healthy, just, and resilient society where current and future generations can thrive.

At JAX, we understand every decision and action, whether directly and indirectly, has an ecological, social, and economic impact. We are committed to practices that improve human health, reduce our environmental impact, advance social equity, and support inclusive economic development. While we are proud of our work, we know there is more we can do, and we are committed to taking new bold steps to advance our sustainability efforts.


Sustainability by the Numbers (JAX-wide)

  • Our 183,500 square foot building in Farmington earned LEED Gold certification.
  • We compost over 2,000 tons of animal bedding each year.
  • Over 45 tons of food waste are sent to a Maine biodigester to generate renewable electricity.
  • 24 EV charging stations are available across our campuses.
  • Over 13,000 pounds of nitrile gloves are recycled each year.
  • 3 Green Teams are working together to advance new sustainability initiatives at JAX.
  • JAX diverts over 70% of all waste from landfills.

Energy and Emissions

  • Buildings completed since 2000 incorporate LEED design principles to improve operational efficiency and lower operating cost.
  • The Farmington facility is JAX’s first LEED building, earning Gold certification. The building includes numerous sustainability features, many of which can be found on the JAX Genomic Medicine virtual tour or this infographic (PDF download):

    Infographic of sustainability measures contributing to LEED Gold certification at JAX Genomic Medicine.

  • The Bar Harbor biomass plant heats over 700,000 square feet of building space with 11,000 tons of Forest Stewardship Council-certified Maine wood products. The biomass plant offsets 1.3M gallons of #2 fuel oil consumption each year, eliminating 12,500 tons of CO2 equivalent from the Laboratory’s greenhouse gas emissions profile. See our Fact Sheet for more information. 
  • Our Maine commuter bus program connects JAX employees living in the surrounding Downeast region. The program reduces more than 100 single-occupant commutes each day.
  • The Farmington campus is recognized as a Gold Transportation Leader by CTrides our efforts to educate and incentivize greener modes of transportation.
  • Travel miles are minimized by teleconferencing and videoconferencing other JAX sites and with collaborators around the world.
  • Building lighting systems use high-efficiency LED and fluorescent bulbs tied to motion sensors and timers.
  • Chillers use non-HCFC (non-ozone depleting) refrigerants.
  • Our JAX-wide temperature policy balances office comfort and energy use.
  • Premium-efficiency motors are used on all new construction and have been retrofitted in existing HVAC systems.
  • High albedo roofing (reflectivity) helps reflect solar rays and reduced thermal energy absorption.

Land Stewardship

  • We use shielded outdoor lighting in Bar Harbor to support the Dark Sky initiative and reduce our impact on Acadia wildlife.
  • A 20,000-gallon underground water tank in Farmington stores rainwater that is used later for irrigation.
  • JAX build the Farmington campus on a previously developed, impervious site. Now, 50% of the site has been restored to vegetated open space.
  • JAX is replacing lawn space and increasing native plantings to support native ecosystems and reduce emissions from grounds equipment.
  • All leaves and grass clippings are composted and used for plantings.
  • Planting beds are mulched, reducing the need for water and fertilizer.
  • Drainage systems have been improved to reduce erosion and sediment runoff into surrounding streams.

Waste Reduction and Diversion

  • Mouse bedding is diverted to a waste-to-energy digestion facility (Sacramento) to generate renewable power or to composting facilities (Maine locations) for landscaping uses.
  • JAX returns over 13,500 pallets for reuse each year.
  • The Farmington Green Team eliminated plastics from the building’s vending machine.
  • Food waste from our Maine cafeteria, Roscoe’s, is diverted to a biodigester to generate renewable electricity.
  • JAX partners with a local Connecticut company to compost all food waste from the Helix Café in Farmington.
  • All JAX electronics are dismantled and recycled.

Wellness and Well-being

  • The volunteer-led JAX community garden provides a space for JAX employees and their families to grow food and build community.
  • The JAXFit wellness program encourages employees who live nearby to walk or bike to work, and we provide bike racks and on-site shower facilities to encourage participation.
  • Custodial Services uses ionizing methods for floor scrubbing, window cleaning, and dusting, eliminating harsh chemical use for these processes.

Sustainability Awards and Recognition

  • 2007:  Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership award for energy conservation leadership.
  • 2011:  Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Environmental Leader Award.
  • 2020:  Kimberly-Clark Green innovation Award for Sacramento’s participation in the Right Cycle Program.