University of Washington
September 24, 2012
December 14, 2012

What if you could make one decision that would reduce the environmental impact of your laboratory, without changing your daily routine? You can, by purchasing green. While there are many changes a person can make to be environmentally responsible, purchasing is an upstream activity that affects various issues down the line, such as energy, waste, and water consumption. Our goal was to change the purchasing habits of University of Washington Laboratories towards buying green alternatives and increase awareness for programs such as USWAP and MyChem, which promote recycling and sharing of products. This project combined investigation of alternative green laboratory products, a survey of current UW lab purchasing practices and communication with UW labs, vendors, and representatives from E-procurement, the university’s primary online purchasing site. The result is a compiled list of laboratory green-products that can be widely used and communicated across campus. This list also includes green purchasing tips and available vendor take-back programs to help share best practices. Sustainability and responsible purchasing of green alternatives is a realistic option. Look for the green purchasing list on the E-procurement site!

Fun Facts: 
Many vendors that offer sustainable alternatives are contracted with E-procurement, this project incorporated help from Mt. Baker Bio, VWR, etc.
The Life Technologies California facility improved its landfill diversion rate from 30% to 96% in one year using aggressive waste reduction programs.
E-procurement’s policy for green purchasing outlines UW’s commitment to environmental stewardship by encouraging purchasing of green products.
Project Contact Name: 
Terra Miller-Cassman and June Songtantaruk