In 2022, the Philips Cambridge site composted enough food waste to power some 45 homes. This is just one of many reasons Philips was named a global sustainability leader by Dow Jones. Philips’ focus on the circular economy–the reuse and regeneration of products–embraces engaging employees, improving utility usage, and reducing its carbon footprint with creative transportation solutions.  

Focusing on the Circular Economy

Philips’ goal is to divert 95% of its waste from landfills by 2025. As part of Philips’ goals to reach zero waste in Cambridge, they have an internal electronic recycling program with Cambridge PC Survivors Recycling, as well as a hazardous waste program with Clean Harbors. In 2022, 11.27% of Philips’ Cambridge Site’s total waste was recycled, while the remaining 89% of waste went to Waste-to-Energy facilities that generate energy from the combustion of solid waste. Philips’ 2022 recycling and composted data is below:

  • Recycled Paper/Cardboard –2,712 lbs
  • Recycled Plastic –1,336 lbs
  • Recycled Metal – 2,573 lbs
  • Electrical and electrical waste –14,317 lbs
  • Compost – 10,353 lbs

Mobilizing Philips Employees

Philips’ Cambridge employees started a sustainability team in 2020 that has championed and advanced the company’s internal sustainability efforts. For example, the Cambridge site implemented a composting program with Save That Stuff that has, to date, composted more than 10,000 pounds, or 5 tons, of food waste. Save that Stuff takes food waste and turns it into a bio-slurry. During that process the energy is captured and used for renewable energy. The bio-slurry is then used for composting. For every ton of food waste collected, enough energy is generated to power 8-9 homes. The Philips Cambridge Site generated enough food waste to power about 45 homes in 2022! The sustainability team also played a role in reducing the amount of plastic drink containers available in the onsite cafeteria coolers by switching to aluminum container drink options where possible. In April 2022, the team also held a clean-up day at Mary O’Malley Park in Chelsea, MA for Earth Day. 

Monitoring and Improving Utility Usage

Philips tracks and reports its energy consumption and water usage monthly. Philips Cambridge installed light motion sensors and automatic fume hood sensors that conserve energy  in its labs, and common workspaces. In addition, the Cambridge office purchases offsets to achieve carbon neutrality. 

Providing Shuttles

Since the opening of Philips’ Cambridge office, the company has provided a shuttle service for their employees that drives them from Andover, MA to the headquarters in Cambridge reducing the number of people who drive to Cambridge. The shuttle operates twice in the mornings and twice in the afternoons. The availability of such a shuttle helps employees reduce their carbon footprints, as well as the company’s total greenhouse gas emissions.