How to Make Greener Decisions When Purchasing for Your Lab

Is there a way to make “greener”, more informed decisions while purchasing products in my laboratory?

Yes. Thermo ScientificTM NalgeneTM products are part of a program run by the non-profit, My Green Lab, to pilot an environmental assessment label for laboratory products which is called an ACT label (Fig. 1). The ACT label is a virtual label and is published on My Green Lab’s website for public access. By emphasizing accountability (A), consistency (C), and transparency (T) around manufacturing, energy, water use, packaging, and end-of-life disposal, the ACT label makes it easy to compare and select products that are sustainably conscience. It is easy to read and provides the consumer an awareness tool for purchasing products for the laboratory. ACT labels can be used to compare products before making a buying decision or to evaluate the impact of a product currently in use.

 

What is an ACT label?

You can think of an ACT label as an eco-nutrition label for lab products. Products are assessed and scored on several different environmental impact factors (EIFs) such as product recyclability, energy use, and sustainable manufacturing practices. Each EIF is rated on a scale of 1 to 10 and a total score for the product is generated. For the assessment, data on the manufacturing, shipping, use, and end-of-life for Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Nalgene products was supplied. The data was independently audited by a third-party, Sustainability Made Simple, and then verified and published by My Green Lab.

 

Who developed the ACT label?

The criteria for the ACT label were developed through input from scientists, sustainability directors, procurement specialists, and manufacturers to provide a comprehensive product labeling program for life science products. The goal is to assess a large enough number of products to enable comparisons of similar products and ultimately more informed purchasing decisions. How do I read an ACT label? Reading the ACT label is simple: the lower the score, the lower the impact on the environment. Most categories are rated on a scale of 1-10.

 

Where do I find an ACT label?

You can find ACT Labels for Nalgene Labware products on the My Green Lab’s website at act.mygreenlab.org.

 

Why ACT labels matter?

Thermo Fisher Scientific is demonstrating its commitment to sustainability through participating in My Green Lab’s program and bringing the ACT label to the laboratory community for a selection of Nalgene products. Through inclusion in this program and transparency into manufacturing procedures necessary to make the program meaningful, Nalgene and Matrix products are paving the way to make sustainable purchasing for laboratories a reality.


 

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