Five ways Fortrea’s new Shanghai office is promoting sustainability and environmental stewardship
On September 26, 2023, Shanghai-based Fortrea employees were welcomed to their new office, occupying one floor of the new Bund building. While this opening event marked their first day formal day in the office, the Fortrea team had been planning for months to select a “green” building and design its interior as part of their ongoing commitment to increase environmental stewardship across the organization.
Ying Wang, Director, EHS & Environmental Sustainability, and Veronica Xia, Vice President and General Manager of China at Fortrea, recently shared five highlights of their team’s efforts and their goal to achieve LEED certification for Interior Design and Construction (LEED ID+C).
1. Encouraging the use of public transport by choosing a strategic location
“When selecting our new office space, we looked for a building with close access to public transport to minimize the carbon emissions associated with employees’ commutes,” said Ying, who is also the manager of China Real Estate and Facilities at Fortrea.
“Our new Bund building is near three Shanghai Metro lines, three bus stations, four bus lines as well as many services, such as a bank, a shopping mall, restaurants, a sports center, a pharmacy and a supermarket,” she said.
2. Sharing space and implementing a hybrid model
The Shanghai team has about 400 employees with 200 workstations available in the new office.
“People can share workstations in the office as part of our carbon reduction efforts,” explained Veronica. “They can also work from their home office on some days as part of our hybrid model, which reduces the impact of commuting.”
3. Sourcing regional materials and recycling construction debris
As the Fortrea facilities team designed and built the interior space, they worked to select regionally purchased or manufactured materials, sourcing 98% of their products within 100 miles (160 km) of the office. Materials were also selected from certified sustainable resources, when possible. As part of the process, the team was also able to classify waste and recycle 75% of the construction debris.
4. Reducing water and energy consumption in the office
The employees’ ongoing use of resources in the Shanghai office reflects best practices for environmental stewardship. From the breakroom to the restrooms, low-flow fixtures and appliances help ensure that indoor water consumption will be reduced by 45% from the baseline while still fulfilling the team’s everyday needs. And, to gain a 20% improvement on electricity baseline consumption over a non-LEED building, the building uses LED (light-emitting diode) light sources along with daylight and occupancy sensors to automatically turn lights off when not in use.
5. Monitoring indoor air quality to prioritize human health
During the construction phase, steps were taken to reduce air pollution and monitor exhaust.
After construction, each conference room in the Shanghai facility was equipped with CO2 sensors to help maintain indoor air quality and enable demand-controlled ventilation. Finally, to verify that the levels of indoor pollutants meet local regulations, a third-party conducted two separate environmental quality tests and confirmed compliance.
Driving positive change across the spectrum of clinical research
After six months of occupancy and documenting the results of the sustainable interior design, the Shanghai team hopes to achieve LEED Gold certification. Along with these measures focusing on public transportation and the building’s interior, the team is also part of a greater global sustainability effort to identify more sustainable practices in clinical trials.
“Together with our drug development clients, we’re focused on minimizing our environmental footprint through sustainable practices, energy efficiency initiatives, waste reduction and responsible resource management,” said Sandy Kennedy, Chief Quality, Regulatory Affairs & Sustainability Officer at Fortrea.
“I’m proud of how our new Shanghai office in China demonstrates our commitment to foster sustainability as part of our comprehensive efforts to create meaningful change across the global research community.”
Explore Fortrea’s clinical trial research, design and device development solutions on our website.