For the Greater Good

Abstract:Few clinical laboratories have formally adopted ISO 14001:2004 — Environmental management systems — Requirements with guidance for use, even though they can be high polluters. Clinical laboratories use a high volume of a range of chemicals. They have high water requirements and consume a large amount of power. So, it is appropriate for clinical laboratories to become environmentally responsible. One clinical laboratory, the Coffs Harbour Laboratory of Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology (SNP) in Australia, began working toward ISO 14001 environmental management system (EMS) implementation. SNP wanted to reduce its environmental risks. improve community relations, and lower operating costs. In addition, because reducing waste is one of the fundamental tenets of quality, SNP's leadership saw a natural link between environmental policy and the principles of quality improvement. The article describes what is involved in implementing ISO 14001, and examines the targets and action plans used in the …

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