Sustainable Purchasing

Sustainable purchasing is the acquirement of products made with recycled materials or equipment made with the consideration for conserving natural resources, such as energy and water. Here are actions and areas with opportunities to achieve sustainable procurement for your lab. 

Download a one-page information sheet about sustainable purchasing here.

Maintain Equipment Inventory

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  • Maintaining a  good inventory helps to prevent waste when reagents and supplies are stored incorrectly and become out-dated before use or having excess reagents unused. 
  • The benefits of having an inventory:
    • Supplies and reagents are always available when needed.
    • High-quality reagents are stored properly,
    • Supplies and reagents are not lost and prevent use after expiration.
  • Implementation Steps of Inventory Management:
    • Assign responsibility.
    • Analyze laboratory needs and establish minimum stock for an appropriate time period.
    • Utilize compatible inventory systems for your lab, such as the UC wide chemical inventory app UC Chemicals.

Sustainable and Efficient Equipment

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  • The benefits of energy-efficient equipment are to reducing lab energy-intensive trends and using performance certified equipment. 
  • Energy Star is recognized for its affordable equipment and is a brand certified by the EPA and the Department of Energy.
  • Familiarize with the ACT Label to learn about the environmental impact of production, use, and disposal of the equipment. 
  • Blue space interiors is a furniture brand UCI commonly use. The brand is aligned with the conscious use of materials, sustainable production processes, and transportation, in addition to human and ecosystem health assessment. 

UCI Procurement Services

  • UCI Procurement Services provides a directory of sources for Sustainable Purchasing, which includes supplies made with recycled materials and energy-efficient equipment.  
  • UCI Buy helps identify companies with sustainable options and Peter’s Exchange had been updated with inventory photos to improve the procurement process. 

Consolidate Orders

  • Consolidate orders to once per week and buy only what you need.
  • This is to ensure carriers to deliver only large loads at minimal capacity to reduce transportation emissions.

Communication

  • Notify neighboring labs of excess equipment of supplies to share to increase the sustainability community within labs.
  • Improve communication of sustainability practices information to new lab members or neighboring labs and enhance lab members’ collaboration by allocating different sustainability responsibilities. 
  • Spread the word about the benefits of sustainable procurement and the UCI Green Lab Certification program.