Governor LePage, DEP Commissioner Aho Honor IDEXX For Environmental Excellence

April 19, 2012

CONTACT:
Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Spokesperson/Director of Communications samantha.depoy-warren@maine.gov / 207-287-5842 (office) or 207-592-0427 (cell)

-The Westbrook-based company receives a Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence alongside other 2012 recipients including CLYNK, the George R. Roberts Company, Maine Energy Systems, the Washington County Council of Governments and the Environmental Living & Learning for Maine Students Project-

GORHAM – IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. has been recognized as part of the first state-sponsored environmental achievement awards handed out in Maine since 2005.

The Westbrook-based company was honored as one of six stewards of sustainability presented with the 2012 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence by Governor Paul LePage and Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho in a ceremony Thursday at Jotul North America’s headquarters in Gorham.

The awards, administered by the Maine DEP and scheduled in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22), recognize entities voluntarily going beyond regulatory requirements to creatively and collaboratively initiate innovation that is both environmentally and economically sustainable.

IDEXX won in the “Businesses Over 100 Employees” category for committing to considering sustainability in every business decision the company has made since 2008 and for engaging their employees so effectively in their environment efforts.

Through a multi-faceted conservation program, reliability of the company’s utilize infrastructure has improved while the operating costs per square foot are lower than they were five years ago. The company is also now recycling nearly half of its waste, with less than 6 percent ending up in landfills. Meanwhile, IDEXX employees have grown hundreds of pounds of produce through a campus gardening program launched last year, all of which is donated to local food pantries.

“Being recognized by the state for this achievement is an honor for IDEXX, especially since IDEXX is headquartered in Maine, and most of our employees live in the surrounding communities,” said IDEXX Maine Operations Manager Matt Haas. “This award validates a lot of work from many, many dedicated people who prove everyday that sustainable business practices are achievable and essential. Sustainability is an on-going journey of continuous improvement, and this recognition validates that we are on the right path to environmental excellence.”

Other winners included CLYNK, of South Portland; George R. Roberts Co. “The Step Guys,” of Alfred; Maine Energy Systems, of Bethel; the Washington County Council of Governments; and the Environmental Living & Learning for Maine Students Project, a collaborative of Chewonki, Ferry Beach Ecology School and the UMaine 4-H Camp and Learning Centers at Bryant Pond and Tanglewood (in Lincolnville).

“For many Maine employers, Earth Day isn’t just one day a year, but a constant commitment to stewarding our natural resources and ensuring a sustainable economy. These Governor’s Award winners illustrate the interdependence of Maine’s economy and the environment and why the choice between the two should never be ‘either or’ because it must always be ‘both,’” said Governor LePage.

Commissioner Aho said it was important for the state to start acknowledging Maine’s many environmental leaders who are modeling her department’s vision of a mutually healthy environment and economy.

“Maine has long been a national leader when it comes to environmental excellence and our 2012 Governor’s Awards recipients are carrying on that legacy,” Aho said. “As Maine’s foremost environmental organization, it has great meaning when we respect and recognize these leaders and that the innovation improving our environment and our economy comes directly from Maine employers and people. I want to thank all of the nominees for their commitment of creativity, time and resources toward our shared vision of making Maine a better place to live, work and play for ours and future generations.”

Aho added the awards program is one of the many activities the DEP has advanced under the LePage administration that further the agency’s culture of cooperation with the regulated community. Others include expanded technical assistance, permitting process improvements and pragmatic regulatory reform.

Based on the success of this year’s awards, Maine DEP intends to continue the annual recognition program with nominations for the 2013 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence opening in late 2012. More information can be found at http://www.maine.gov/dep or by contacting Samantha DePoy-Warren at 207-287-5842 or samantha.depoy-warren@maine.gov.

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