Company Spotlight: Ventana Medical Systems Leads the Way to Sustainability
In 2003, Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. (Ventana) was rated in Fortune magazine as one of the 100 fastest growing companies. Today, the Oro Valley- based company has over 1,100 employees and is a member of the Roche Group. A leading supplier of cancer diagnostic systems to the anatomical pathology market, Ventana manufactures over 220 cancer diagnostics tests with related automated diagnostic instruments. Over 8 million patients in 90+ countries are diagnosed or monitored with help from Ventana products each year, keeping the company true to their mission to ”improve the lives of all patients afflicted with cancer.”
Ventana employees live throughout southern Arizona, so commuting to Oro Valley can be time consuming and costly. The sustainability committee at Ventana, entitled VERDE (Ventana Environmentally Responsible and Dedicated Employees), understands these challenges and encourages employees to use alternative transportation.
One of VERDE’s tools to spread the word is an Alternative Transportation Resources page on the Ventana intranet. Employees can find information about Sun Rideshare, the benefits of carpooling as well as access to a “carpool match” database listing detailed cross street information and ideal work hours in order to identify a carpool group. VERDE holds an annual Earth Week celebration, inviting sustainability-focused vendors, such as Sun Tran and Sun Rideshare, to host informational tables. Additionally, VERDE has held an alternative transportation contest where buildings on their campus compete to see which has the largest percentage of employees using alternative transportation for their commute.
The company also provides financial incentives and special parking spots to employees who carpool and has onsite shower facilities and bike lockers for those who ride their bikes to work. A 2014 pilot program allows certain departments to choose an 80 work week in 9 days, getting every other Friday off. Another incentive allows offsite, remote working—up to 10 days per quarter. Both programs decrease the number of trips taken by employees, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.