We recently sat down with Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing to ask about how their Lancaster site is creating a cleaner campus and watershed. The Lancaster campus has several practices and installations, including a pollinator garden, a rain garden, and a riparian forest buffer, planted in partnership with the Alliance. Learn more about the exciting actions the company is taking below.

A riparian buffer planted at EBPT’s Lancaster site.

What is the history of Eurofins globally and in Lancaster and its connection with environmental sustainability practices?

Lancaster Laboratories was founded in 1961 by Dr. Earl Hess in Lancaster, PA. The laboratory sought to provide quality testing for agriculture businesses in the area. Over the past 60+ years, the laboratory grew to include environmental, food, and biopharmaceutical testing. In 2011, Eurofins, the global leader in contract testing services, acquired Lancaster Laboratories, which became part of the Eurofins BioPharmaceutical Product Testing (EBPT) network of laboratories that provides bio/pharmaceutical laboratory services. Globally, Eurofins Scientific S.E. is a network of 900+ laboratories in 61 countries with more than 62,000 employees.

In 2009, a group of employees at the Lancaster site started a grassroots effort to increase environmental stewardship programs. It started with increasing recycling throughout campus and has since developed into a formal sustainability program with four full time employees.

Running a sustainable business is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Eurofins measures and reports carbon footprint data from its operations across the globe. Each Eurofins business develops projects to reduce emissions and shares best practices with other sites. In Lancaster, EBPT has published an annual Sustainability Report since 2014. The report summarizes goals, projects, and data specific to the laboratory’s impact related to social and environmental sustainability.

What are some of the practices that EBPT has implemented on their Lancaster campus? Can you tell us how your Riparian Forest Buffer is doing?

Eastern redbud (left) and American sycamore (right) planted as part of EBPT’s riparian buffer

There are a variety of environmental initiatives at EBPT in Lancaster. In 2019, we partnered with the Alliance to install a Riparian Forest Buffer that is home to over 1,000 PA native trees and shrubs. The buffer runs along a small stream that ultimately feeds into the Chesapeake Bay. Further, the Alliance supported the installation of a 12,500+ square foot PA native rain garden installed by Land Studies on the North side of our campus. Both of these spaces serve as educational platforms about the importance of protecting and restoring land to protect our waterways and the significance of native species in supporting biodiversity and our local ecosystem. In addition to these restoration projects, there is a company garden managed by employees. The space includes a native pollinator garden and a number of raised beds to grow produce. The harvest is free to Garden Club members and excess is donated to the campus cafeteria.

Beyond the outdoors, we have improved our facility to become more energy efficient, capture rainwater, and have begun converting our shuttle fleet to electric vehicles. These are just a few examples of how we engage and promote environmental stewardship. You can read more about these efforts in our 2022 Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing US Sustainability Report.

An electric vehicle, part of EBPT’s shuttle fleet

How does the mission/values of EBPT relate/parallel to the Alliance mission?

Alliance Mission: The Alliance restores the lands and waters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Our collaborative and action-oriented approach delivers on-the-ground solutions, technical assistance, and builds capacity to achieve healthier lands and cleaner water.

Through our partnership with The Alliance, we have protected and are restoring approximately 7 acres of land to native habitat. The Alliance has provided expert support in planning, executing, and maintaining these spaces so that they have long-term success and benefit to our local ecosystem and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

What are the benefits, financial or otherwise, of the work done on campus?

The primary benefit of restoring these areas is our ability to contribute to a healthier ecosystem and community. A walking path surrounds the Riparian Forest Buffer for our employees and neighbors to enjoy by getting outside, breathing fresh air, and admiring PA native trees and shrubs. The rain garden filters pollutants from surrounding farmland, roads, and parking lots, relieving our waterways from surges during storms.

In 2023, Upper Leacock Township, where EBPT is located, instituted a new storm water fee based on the area of impervious pavement of the property. However, credits are given for a variety of best management practices to mitigate storm water impact and protect and restore waterways. EBPT was able to apply for a credit for the Riparian Forest Buffer installed in 2019. This is a significant financial savings for our organization, which is an additional benefit from restoring these habitats.

What motivated Eurofins to create this culture of environmental engagement amongst employees? Did engaged employees or work culture lead to implementation of practices, or did practices increase employee engagement?

Eurofins employees are highly motivated to give back to our community and further environmental stewardship. The Green Team along with a number of volunteers helped plant all 1,000+ trees and shrubs in 2019. This group of employees meets bi-annually to perform maintenance on the buffer and ensure the success of the project. In 2023, the Green Team is creating educational signage to post along the walking trail to increase awareness of riparian forest buffers, biodiversity, and protecting our backyard ecosystems.

The Alliance speaking with hundreds of engaged EBPT employees during the 2023 Earth Day Fair at the Lancaster campus

Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing offers complete CMC Testing Services for the Bio/Pharmaceutical industry, including all starting materials, process intermediates, drug substances, drug product, packaging, and manufacturing support through our broad technical expertise in Biochemistry, Molecular & Cell Biology, Virology, Chemistry and Microbiology.