On Tuesday July 12, 2011, I traveled to Southern Arizona to join Dr. Ken Wertman and the team at Sanofi US as they celebrated another milestone. This time it is not for groundbreaking advancements in human and animal health. Instead we were recognizing the team’s achievement of LEED Gold Certification at their home in Oro Valley, Arizona and congratulating the team that made it happen. Laboratories are very difficult to certify because of demands posed by air handling and other challenges in an environment where scientific experimentation is taking place. Sanofi-aventis U.S. strives to limit the environmental impact of their business and the team is proud of having achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certification.
LEED is a building rating system that was developed by the US Green Building Council in 2000 and is a nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operations of high performance “green buildings”. The 110,350 square-foot site was constructed in Oro Valley Innovation Park with the grand opening held on January 13, 2010. Of all the buildings in the U.S. that are LEED certified, only two percent are laboratories. Sanofi US operates two of those laboratories, one in Cambridge, MA and the one here in Oro Valley just north of Tucson, Arizona.
Another highlight of the trip was getting to spend some time with Dr. Ken Wertman and learning more about his journey, why Sanofi US chooses Arizona, and what they do here.