Memphis Bioworks’ sustainability efforts are focused on renewable-energy and energy-efficiency initiatives that position Memphis as a national leader in sustainability while creating local jobs and attracting and retaining talent to Memphis.
The most visible energy initiative at Memphis Bioworks’ own facilities is its 3,000-panel, 750-kilowatt solar installation on the top level of the organization’s parking garage at the corner of Dudley and Union. The solar installation provides shading on the top level to keep cars cool, while producing enough electricity to power 100 average homes a year.
This project also provided a meaningful employment opportunity where those trained through Bioworks’ workforce development initiatives put their skills to work on a significant industrial solar project.
The multi-level parking structure at the Memphis Bioworks Foundation headquarters is also the centerpiece of additional environmental activities, including upgraded LED lighting and two Blink charging stations for electric automobiles.
Bioworks also completed a comprehensive study of energy reduction for its 20 South Dudley building, and is focused on LEED certification and environmental practices for new buildings that will be developed throughout its UT-Baptist Research Park, including the TriMetis Specialized Laboratory.
Bioworks will continue to look for opportunities for the community to demonstrate Sustainability leadership. Progressive thinking in the fields of entrepreneurship, business development, bioscience and sustainability issues tend to travel together in the minds of those taking a leadership role in any one of the categories.
Sustainability is also inherent in the work of Bioworks as it pertains to utilizing the rich farm resources of the Delta, combined with the deep industrial resources of the urban community of Memphis. At Memphis Bioworks it is referred to AgBio, and it expands the Foundation’s core biosciences mission into the rapidly expanding field commonly called greentech, cleantech or industrial biotechnology.
AgBio refers to the development of alternative energy and biobased products from living sources. The products that can be derived replace petroleum and other extracted minerals with renewable sources. Biobased products include biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel; biobased plastics; and many other chemicals, including cleaning products, automotive components, and even thousands of consumer products ranging from high fashion clothing to industrial plastics. Programs in this area effectively farmers and industry for AgBio Sustainability programs.