Programs Emerged from R3 (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) Concept at the University of Michigan

Sudhakar Reddy, Univerity of Michigan

Several years ago, the University of Michigan (U-M) spearheaded a unique program called the Sustainable Lab Recognition Program to diffuse sustainability into lab operations across the campus. To date, we have been successful in engaging 225 labs into this program. Participating labs engage in best lab practices to include adapting to green chemistry principles, energy and utilities conservation, recycling and behavioral changes in their operations. Keeping in mind the concept of R3 (Reduce, reuse and recycle) this program allowed us to develop a few unique programs that are running successfully. Sustainable purchasing practice allows lab users to choose for green products or products from local vendors and reduce waste generation at the source. Special attention is focused on ChEM (Chemicals, Equipment and Materials) Reuse program that is being developed from scratch to redistribute surplus items. This presentation also covers many other waste solid materials encountered in the labs that are being repurposed systematically either by reuse or recycling, addressing one of the main university wide goals to reduce the waste. Metrics captured for each specific program are presented.

Learning Objectives

  • What objectives to consider in developing a Sustainable Lab program? Reducing waste is a challenge as it is difficult to draw researcher's attention to this important aspect. It also linked to behavioral change.
  • R3 (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) is a concept of pollution prevention and waste minimization. How to apply this concept?
  • Sustainable purchasing is an emerging culture. How to correlate this into sustainable lab operations.
  • R3 not only reduces waste but also improves health and safety in the lab


Dr. Sudhakar Reddy obtained his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry in 1980. After holding various positions in private companies he joined the University of Michigan in 1994. Dr. Reddy has developed many green methods to measure target chemicals. As the Sustainability Coordinator he has developed several programs to benefit the University of Michigan community. He received several awards to recognize his contributions towards sustainability.


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