We are mindful of our impact throughout our entire operations and value chain. We are committed to minimising negative impacts and maximising positive impacts stemming from our operations by further integrating sustainability into our product design, manufacturing processes and day-to-day operations.
Accessibility of biological analysis
Seventeen years ago, Oxford Nanopore was established to develop a new generation of nanopore sensing technology. We chose to deploy the features of that technology – scalability and low cost as well as high-performance – in a product and business design that was based on accessibility. The goal with our first product – the pocket-sized sequencer MinION - was to disrupt traditional structures of top-down science by enabling any user to sequence DNA, anywhere. This choice has, over the years, expanded reach and application of sequencing technology, empowering a broad community of users to answer a wide range of essential biological questions that address real-world problems in healthcare, epidemiology, environmental science, food and agriculture, and education.
We are committed to managing resources and materials in the most sustainable and resource-efficient manner possible, throughout the production process and product lifecycle, including packaging and end of life. This year, we have focused on internal processes, switching the packaging material in our distribution process, and reducing our reliance on some chemicals in production, as well as increasing circularity in the life cycle of our products.
Our commitment to sustainable practices extends beyond our internal operations and distribution, to encompass our entire value chain. We have implemented robust requirements and internal processes to ensure those we do business with comply with our Supply Chain Code of Conduct, meeting similar responsible standards as those we place on ourselves.
Keeping cool with wool
We want to ensure our packaging is as recyclable as possible.
Given the nature of our products, they need to be kept within a certain temperature range during distribution. Using a wool lining is the perfect solution.
Wool is one of the most sustainable natural materials, being available in abundance as a by-product of rearing sheep and being fully biodegradable after it has fulfilled its purpose.
The Woolcool Insulated Box Set consists of a strong, robust outer cardboard box, containing two insulating fleece liners.
Packaging chips used to protect our products in transit are now made from vegetable starch that dissolve in water, instead of polystyrene.
Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions
We believe that the application of our technology in environmental science will lead to a deeper understanding of the underlying process and consequences of climate change. We also endeavour to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from our own business.
Renewable energy: Our head office, manufacturing facility and some of our other buildings are powered entirely by renewable energy sources.
Waste: We aim to reduce, reuse and recycle all waste from our operations. Our offices and labs include recycling facilities for paper and other recyclable items. The Café at Oxford Nanopore’s headquarters does not offer single-use plastics, instead providing paper or compostable takeaway materials, larger condiment bottles and metal cutlery.
Manufacturing: We are constantly reviewing and optimising our manufacturing processes and use of materials to reduce our environmental impact.
Travel: We actively participate in the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme and provide our employees with secure facilities in which to store bikes during the workday and appropriate shower/changing facilities – reducing the number of people driving to work, and our CO2 emissions.
ORG.one: supporting rapid sequencing of critically endangered species, anywhere, by anyone
Loss of biodiversity is an urgent problem. Genomic information can help conservationists managing critically endangered species. For example, by understanding the genetic diversity within a species and understanding its population structure, enabling conservationists to establish specific strategies for those species. It is also desirable to secure the DNA sequence of critically endangered species for future knowledge, before further numbers are lost.
ORG.one is a pilot-stage project designed to support faster, comprehensive, and more localised whole genome sequencing of critically endangered species, by enabling biologists to rapidly sequence those species close to the sample’s origin, using the latest ultra-long read approaches. The programme is also designed to support the use of other techniques such as environmental DNA (eDNA) sequencing for conservation insights such as species identification from ocean water, for example.
Data-rich, de novo whole genome assemblies will be enabled through the provision of sequencing consumables that can be used with Oxford Nanopore sequencers, on the condition that the data generated will be openly shared with the scientific community.