Lab Procurement

Approximately 45% of emissions occur upstream in supply chains from extraction of materials and manufacturing. Sustainable purchasing is a great way for individuals to make a tangible impact. Here are some tools to help.

U-M’s sustainable purchasing guide will familiarize you with the basics of green purchasing.

You can also access the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council’s lab procurement guide. U-M is an institutional member of this organization. Use your U-M email to sign up for free access.

Prioritize reusable supplies over disposables. The impact of reusables is significantly lower, especially when they are sterilized in fully loaded autoclaves or dishwashers.
lab reuse
Only ordering what you need is a self-evident sustainability practice that also saves money. But people sometimes over-order because they don’t know what they already have. So, keep your inventory of supplies and chemicals up to date with cleanouts every 6 months. You can donate excess supplies to the Lab Reuse program. You can also work with nearby labs to order supplies together to reduce the number of shipments and excess supplies. 
Property Disposition often has furniture and equipment in good condition. Check out their inventory before buying new! You can also review the Lab Reuse inventory for gently used lab supplies and equipment that need a new home.
The ACT label from My Green Lab shows the environmental impact of the production and delivery of lab products, including shipping, packaging, and chemical management. Just because an item has a label does not automatically make it a better choice, but producer transparency is a helpful tool when you are making purchases. Check out the database of products.
Energy Star products are those that have been tested and determined to be more energy efficient than the standard. If you are purchasing products such as refrigerators, freezers, computers, or dishwashers, please prioritize Energy Star products.
U-M vendors including Fisher Scientific, VWR, and Millipore Sigma label products that are more sustainable to make them easy to identify. Use this step-by-step guide to find more sustainable lab products on M-Marketsite.

Core stores often order commonly used items in bulk, reducing the need for individual labs to ship items directly to yourself. You can also use equipment at a core facility instead of buying your own, especially if the equipment will be rarely used!

Polycarbin has pipette tips, conical tubes, and more that are made from recycled lab plastics. Check out these products on M-Marketsite to support a closed-loop system!