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Grünenthal’s Research laboratories obtain My Green Lab® certification
Pharmaceutical Research across the globe has not always focussed on being environmentally friendly. Energy and water consumption, the use of single-use plastics and of many chemicals have traditionally been high. For example, Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) freezers, used to store samples, can consume the energy equivalent of a single-family house every day. There are, however, many strategies to optimise the environmental footprint of a laboratory.
Teaming up with My Green Lab®
In 2022, our colleagues in Research joined forces with My Green Lab® to run their laboratories more sustainably. The journey began with a wide-ranging assessment of current practices such as cold storage, lab infrastructure, employee awareness and sustainable purchasing practices.
Savings achieved by optimising the cold storage infrastructure at our Research labs in Aachen
My Green Lab® provided guidance to our teams and shared actionable insights into how our environmental footprint could be reduced. It started by addressing the mindset and awareness of all colleagues – with dedicated sustainability champions helping to support change. Key areas addressed included proactive inventory management to minimise wastage and a holistic approach to cold storage, which allowed the number of refrigerators and freezers to be reduced. By the way, when was the last time you defrosted your refrigerator?
My Green Lab® certification
The teams repeated the My Green Lab® assessment in December last year - and were richly rewarded for their efforts. Not only had they reduced their environmental footprint, all Research labs at our headquarters in Aachen obtained a My Green Lab® certificate. Three areas were awarded a Green certificate, the highest possible level, and one area obtained a Gold certificate.
Building on this success, we are now evaluating how to leverage these learnings in other laboratory spaces across Grünenthal to further decrease our environmental footprint and protect the environment we all depend upon.
What is My Green Lab®?
My Green Lab® is a non-profit organisation run by scientists for scientists. Recognized by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign as a key measure of progress towards a zero-carbon future, My Green Lab Certification is considered the gold standard for laboratory sustainability best practices around the world.
The program provides scientists and the teams that support laboratories with actionable ways to make meaningful changes towards sustainability in day-to-day operations.
Learn more: https://www.mygreenlab.org/