Join Our Mailing List Today!

NOTICE: Online ordering will be disabled 1/27-2/3. Learn More.

Meet the Team: Interview with Jennifer Brooks, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Manager

Meet the Team: Interview with Jennifer Brooks, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Manager

What is your role at FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific, and when did you join the Company?

I am currently the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Manager for FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific, which is a subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation. I have been with Fujifilm since 2015, and have supported FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific since 2019. When I first joined in 2015, I was located at the corporate office in New York, where I supported the FUJIFILM Medical Systems (now FUJIFILM Healthcare America) subsidiary managing their Radiation Safety program and other EHS initiatives. I was also involved with FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics focusing mainly on Biological Safety programs, EHS Compliance and other EHS initiatives for their sites in Wisconsin and California.

Prior to joining FUJIFILM Holdings America, I was a Contractor with the Health Safety and Quality team at FUJIFILM Manufacturing USA in South Carolina. In this role, my main focus was ergonomics and occupational safety.

What is your professional and academic background that has led you to this role?

I completed my Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a Healthcare Management concentration from Lander University, a small school in Greenwood, SC. My 400-level business course required an internship and I was lucky to find one at FUJIFILM Manufacturing USA, down the road from me in Greenwood. I began working for Susan Hendrix, a wonderful mentor who I still work with today, and her team in the Health Safety and Quality department. I’ve been with the company ever since!

What does your day-to-day work at FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific involve?

EHS professionals wear many hats. My main priority is ensuring the safety and health of all employees in keeping with the order of operations: "Safely, Correctly, On Time, Every Time".

My team fields requests and concerns from all departments within FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific, ranging from office ergonomic assessments to removal of hazardous waste. I also ensure the compliance of the site and our operations with local, state, and federal regulations. As part of this, I work with local regulators to maintain operational permits such as wastewater discharge, air quality, storm water, and fire authority high pile storage and hazardous materials. I develop and maintain safety programs required by OSHA such as hearing conservation, Job Hazard Analysis, respiratory protection, emergency response, and many more. The objective of my day-to-day work is to keep everyone safe, keep our company compliant, and ensure transparent communication throughout the organization for environmental safety and health.

What challenges have you faced in your role so far, and how have you overcame them?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced has been the recovery of operations since the COVID-19 pandemic. As with most organizations, the “style” of our working environment has changed following COVID, with many employees now able to work from home. EHS programs are typically best executed and maintained in-person - whether it be training, implementation of a new program or policy, or facility safety modifications. In response, we have converted much of our training, reporting, and communications to electronic format; restructured our on-site Emergency Response Team; and adapted to Microsoft Teams and Zoom meetings.

Fujifilm and its subsidiaries are heavily involved in several sustainability and ‘green manufacturing’ initiatives, could you give us any examples of these?

Fujifilm subsidiaries across the globe receive Green Policy Priority Measures annually, from our headquarters in Tokyo. These Priority Measures are based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and include topics ranging from recycling and waste reduction to chemical/product safety and employee education. Each subsidiary focuses efforts on the Fujifilm Green Priority Measures throughout the year and applies them to every product line, project, and/or facility that they operate.

One of the highest priority goals for all Fujifilm sites is to achieve Zero Waste to Landfill. A lot of time is spent identifying waste streams and resources for managing their disposal such as incineration and waste-to-energy facilities. Last year, in 2023, I am pleased to say that at FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific, we managed to keep 86% of our waste out of the landfill.

FUJIFILM Holdings America manages sustainability efforts across the continent. Most recently, they entered into a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement which off-sets 100% of Fujifilm’s total electricity use in the US and Canada. This accounts for about 9% of Fujifilm’s global annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and is the equivalent of about 90,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. From Fiscal Year 2013 to 2019, Fujifilm has reduced CO2 emissions by 31% and is on track to reach 50% reduction by 2030, and ZERO CO2 emissions by 2040. This is achieved through promoting the recycling of resources by enhancing partnerships with suppliers, increasing the efficiency of transportation, providing energy-saving products, and recycling of waste. What’s more, Fujifilm’s manufacturing hub in Tilburg, Netherlands operates 100% on wind energy.

Having a global network of distributors is key to FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific – what role does this play in supporting ongoing sustainability measures?

Many of FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific’s customers are very focused on doing business with suppliers and distributors who are not only conscious of sustainability but are exceeding minimum industry standards. The sustainability goals and activities of all distributors are vetted prior to FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific’s entry into any kind of agreement or partnership, and regularly requested to provide sustainability data for their organizations. FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific is in turn asked for the same. Any third-party transportation or distribution service which supports FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific falls into Scope 3 emissions. Scope 3 is by far the most difficult to control and reduce so strategic partnerships with organizations who have strong sustainability programs are critical to Fujifilm’s success as well.

To enable ongoing sustainable growth, FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific prioritizes environmental health and safety measures across its operations – what must you consider when applying these standards to meet the needs of specific workflows in a GMP environment?

In many cases it is difficult to make significant changes to a GMP/highly controlled operation for obvious reasons. The first option we turn to is that of Virtual Power Purchase Agreements or equivalent which allows FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific to operate as-is, while investing in renewable energy to off-set what is used by our operations. The next option is to assess our current facilities and identify ways we can reduce our consumption of water and electricity. FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific has begun replacing aged equipment with more energy efficient machinery, fitting all lighting with motion sensors and LEDs, and implementing building automation controls. We’ve also been continuously evaluating our manufacturing processes to identify opportunities to reduce water consumption and improve the quality of our wastewater.

Why is it important that large companies such as FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific take a leading role in sustainability?

It is critical that all of us align and work together to improve the health of our world which will then show other people and other industries that they not only should but CAN do the same. Life sciences is as stated, a very controlled process, so it can be difficult to break through as a leader in sustainability. Despite this, FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific has strongly established its position as one of those leaders, and through sharing our efforts with others in the industry, we are able to lead by example and encourage them to be as invested in sustainability as we are. We’re all learning together and working toward the same goal.

Looking to the future, how do you think green initiatives will continue to evolve, both at FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific and more generally?

In the future, I believe business partnerships and strategies will be driven by sustainability. If you’re not participating in global green initiatives and sustainability goals, it will be difficult to be successful. FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific (and Fujifilm as a whole) will continue to work toward achievement of the United National Sustainable Development Goals to which we can contribute:

  • Good Health & Well Being
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water & Sanitation
  • Affordable Clean Energy
  • Decent Work & Economic Growth
  • Industry Innovation & Infrastructure
  • Sustainable Cities & Communities
  • Responsible Consumption & Production
  • Climate Action
  • Partnership for the Goals

The future of sustainability is investing in our communities, extending outreach to the less fortunate regions of the globe, and continuing to innovate within the life science and medical market to improve global health.


Stay tuned to meet more of our team! Please subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on LinkedIn.

© 2024 FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific. All rights reserved.