Prior to ordering consumables, check if other labs have a surplus supply of the resource you need; establishing a “second hand resource database” is useful for this purpose;
Consolidate the orders to reduce packaging;
Give preference to supplies that can be stored at room temperature;
Choose autoclavable glassware or plastic bottles, petri dishes, and tubes, rather than disposable consumables (see image below!);
Give preference to items with reduced packaging (e.g., purchase centrifuge tubes packed in bags rather than tubes supplied with polystyrene foam racks);
Prefer products made of recycled materials;
Purchase products with reduced hazardous chemicals;
Whenever possible, choose suppliers that have take-back programs for packaging;
Whenever possible, ask for the product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis or, alternatively, the Carbon Footprint of Product (CFP) during the production, lifetime, and end-of-life life cycle stages of the product, and choose the item with the lowest carbon footprint; *
Check the company/manufacturer reputation. Prefer items with a fair-trade certificate;
When buying small equipment, choose the right size for your lab and select equipment with environmentally-conscious features;
Choose autoclavable glassware or plastic bottles, petri dishes, and tubes, rather than disposable consumables
* Suppliers are not presently obliged to provide the LCA analysis or the Carbon Footprint of the Product (CFP). Still, by doing it, they show that they have an environmental responsibility/conscience. LCA and CFP assessments are rapidly becoming an integral part of new product development and eco-design. Moreover, due to EU commitment to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, a trend for the companies to provide certified CFP values exists.
Green and Circular purchasing of laboratory supplies
Researchers are starting to recognize and address the laboratories environmental impact by ordering more sustainable products.
Procurement & Supplies Management