How ADC Celebrates Earth Day

Written By: 
Carole Vande Velde / Director of Marketing

Almost 50 years ago, the U.S. marked its first observance of Earth Day. The event, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson and held on April 22, 1970, was focused on environmental education. In the decades since, supporters have worked to make Earth Day a day of awareness and action with a focus on long-term ecological sustainability. Much of that effort is policy related, but positive change has also been driven in large part by individuals, communities, and businesses.

Here at ADC, our commitment to sustainable growth touches nearly every dimension of our day-to-day activities. A few of these initiatives are described below.

In Our Offices

In our New York headquarters, we make use of every square foot of space, resulting in an office and warehouse footprint that’s optimally sized for our needs. An aggressive recycling program diverts day-to-day waste. We’ve installed motion-sensor lighting and multiple thermostat zones throughout the facility to reduce unnecessary energy consumption.

In Our Packaging

ADC has been an industry pioneer in moving toward more ecologically sensitive packaging, at both the manufacturing and consumer level. For component shipping – a critical element of our business since the majority of assembly and packaging happens in our U.S. facility – we moved from polystyrene foam inserts to biodegradable corrugated trays more than 15 years ago. This single change allowed us to eliminate 12 containers of foam – more than 14,400 total cubic feet – per year. Better still, we recycle the cardboard trays we use now, ensuring they never reach a landfill.

On the consumer front, we were the first – and are still one of the only – stethoscope manufacturers to eliminate foam from inside our retail packaging. After testing several alternatives (including pressed paper, which was problematic given our production volumes and standards), we adopted a lightweight plastic solution, sourced with recycled content when available, that not only protects the equipment during shipping but is easier to keep sanitary when repurposed for instrument storage, which we’ve designed it to be.

In Our Products

Overexposure to latex can cause critical, life-threatening symptoms and reactions in those who are allergic. ADC began offering latex-free versions of our products nearly 20 years ago and decided in 2010 to eliminate latex from our catalog entirely.

More recently, the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control began studying phthalates, a group of chemicals used as binding agents and to make plastics more flexible. Phthalates are used in hundreds of products across several industries, including cosmetics, automobiles, and flooring. In the medical world, phthalates have been used in products like blood storage containers and tubing. And while neither FDA nor CDC has issued new industry regulations based on their phthalate research so far, ADC began exploring alternatives. Today, with a handful of exceptions, all our products are made without phthalates. (And we’re working with our manufacturing partners to quickly transition those few items that remain.)