Sustainability Scoop – December 2019

Sustainable Purchasing in ACTion

Laboratories provide the world with groundbreaking research, but they also discard billions of pounds of plastic packaging and other materials every year that usually end up in landfills. That’s why the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories’ (I2SL’s) Laboratory Waste Landfill Diversion Working Group is helping research institutions expand the boundaries of what is possible and find new ways to implement technologies and practices to create a more sustainable and efficient laboratory environment.

Sustainable Purchasing award winners on stage with their awards

In October 2019, I2SL recognized institutions that have made a commitment to promoting and purchasing products for their research facilities that reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. These institutions actively encouraged sustainable procurement in laboratories and helped educate suppliers about the environmental impact of products and packaging. Institutions were acknowledged during the I2SL Annual Conference Go Beyond Awards Luncheon for either initiative or improvement in sustainable procurement.

The following institutions were recognized in the initiative category for undertaking significant strides in sustainable purchasing:

  • University of Birmingham
  • National Institutes of Health Liver Diseases Branch

The following institutions were recognized for showing steady improvement in sustainable purchasing since their initial recognition in 2018:

  • Harvard University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Virginia

I2SL also recognized manufacturers that are participating in My Green Lab’s Accountability, Consistency, and Transparency (ACT) effort. The ACT label works like a nutrition label for the environmental footprint of laboratory products, providing a 1 to 10 rating on lab product manufacturing, energy and water use, packaging, and end-of-life. The lower the score, the lower the environmental impact of the product. The ACT label has become a powerful component in the fight to decrease lab landfill waste and resource use in high-tech facilities, helping laboratory operators and users across the world identify sustainable consumables, chemicals, and equipment.

ACT labeled products are independently audited by Sustainability Made Simple and verified by My Green Lab. In 2018, I2SL and My Green Lab recognized manufacturers that obtained the ACT label for their products and helped customers make smart and sustainable purchasing choices. This year, both manufacturers who recently obtained the ACT label and manufacturers who continued to increase ACT label program participation were recognized at the luncheon.

The following manufacturers obtained the ACT label designation in 2019:

  • Labcon
  • Chart
  • Miele
  • Mircronic
  • Stirling Ultracold

The following manufacturers obtained the ACT label in 2018 and expanded their ACT labeled inventory in 2019:

  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Eppendorf
  • MilliporeSigma
  • Priorclave North America

I2SL joins My Green Lab in applauding these companies and institutions for their commitment to reducing lab landfill waste and reducing resource use.