West Michigan Green Labs is an effort to support and promote sustainability initiatives in local laboratory operations. It is open to any facility that self-identifies as a “lab”, including industrial, clinical, non-profit, municipal, school, and university laboratories.

The pilot was a program of West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum supported through funding by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and technical support from the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories.  The pilot, now complete, included an operational assessment, customized resource development, and opportunity to earn a third-party performance claim.  The initiative continues with the support of I2SL and a local organizing committee, which organizes a yearly conference and facilitates access to other regional and national resources for green labs.

West Michigan Green Labs include three components

Making Labs More Cost Effective and Environmentally Sustainable

Laboratories have been identified as a major opportunity for environmental improvement on campuses, institutions, and in industry. For example, labs are energy intensive, consuming four to six times as much energy as typical office buildings. Fortunately, there are ways to improve efficiency and reduce energy use. The International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories estimates that most labs can reduce energy use by 30 to 50%. A key step towards identifying savings is to assess how efficiently your lab uses energy, an assessment exercise that will also help you recognize and improve other environmental best practices, and save money.  This is a guiding principle behind the pilot – the self-assessment and continuous improvement process.

The pilot is designed to:

  1. Identify areas for environmental improvement.
  2. Introduce best practices and methods for source reduction and efficient use of energy, water, chemicals, and materials.
  3. Facilitate the implementation of recommended sustainability-focused techniques.
  4. Recognize labs working to improve sustainability in their operations.

Guiding Principles

  • Source reduction and pollution prevention
  • Material reuse and recycling
  • Green product sourcing
  • Toxics use reduction and green chemistry
  • Hazardous substance substitution
  • Micro-scale analytics

Post-Certification Benefits For Laboratory

  • Reduced pollution and a cleaner environment
  • Improved safety for laboratory personnel
  • Reduction in operational expenses
  • Increased grant application competitiveness
  • Community recognition

Green Labs Pilot Process at a Glance

glance labs

Learn more about West Michigan Green Labs: