In 2023, My Green Lab and the broader green lab community achieved notable milestones, bringing sustainability to the forefront of the scientific community. From unprecedented program expansions to launching a global collective supply chain initiative, My Green Lab’s mission and momentum continues to grow; supported by a powerful and dedicated community of green lab leaders around the world.
As we pause to reflect on the progress made in 2023, it's clear that this collaborative spirit and partnership with the My Green Lab community has propelled us forward. Our shared mission of promoting sustainability in science has grown thanks to the dedication of our community members, forward-thinking sponsors, partners, and collaborators. Thank you to everyone who has helped and continues to champion our mission of building a global culture of sustainability in science.
Below are our top ten highlights and milestones that defined My Green Lab's journey in 2023, shaping the narrative of sustainable science for the years ahead.
1: My Green Lab Unveiled Converge, a Collaborative Supply Chain Initiative
Harnessing the collective efforts of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, our team was proud to launch Converge, a collaborative supply chain initiative, at COP28 in December 2023. In collaboration with founding sponsors AstraZeneca, GSK, Bristol Myers Squibb, Amgen, and Merck KGaA, this initiative encourages suppliers like Contract Research Organizations (CROs), Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs), and Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) to reduce the environmental impact of labs in their value chain through My Green Lab Certification. Converge is a major turning point in the uptake of green labs globally and in achieving the UN-Backed Race to Zero Breakthrough Outcome goal that 95% of all labs are My Green Lab Certified by 2030.
2: The 2023 Carbon Impact of Biotech & Pharma Report
In December, we released the 2023 update to our Carbon Impact of Biotech & Pharma Report which provides an overview of the industry’s carbon footprint and identifies key opportunities for change. The report found an increase in the industry’s Race to Zero commitments, with thirty-five companies, or 53% of the sector by revenue, committing to the Race to Zero, up from thirty companies last year. Along with tracking notable progress within the industry, the report also highlighted the need for increased action in scope 3 reductions and collaborative supply chain engagement.
3: My Green Lab Accredited Professional (AP) Program Certifies Over 60 Green Lab Experts
All six modules of the world’s first green lab accredited professional program became available on mygreenlab.education in October, and over 60 individuals have since become accredited green lab experts through the program. With modules on Energy, Water, Engagement, Procurement, Green Chemistry, and Waste, the AP program provides a comprehensive, holistic education on achieving sustainability in the lab and beyond. Our program aims to empower the scientific community to make better-informed choices in order to collectively contribute to a more environmentally conscious and responsible global research landscape.
4: My Green Lab Certification Engaged 2,000+ Labs and 26,000+ Scientists from 45 Countries
In November, My Green Lab Certification hit a remarkable milestone by reaching 2,000+ labs across 45 countries, bringing green lab best practices to over 26,000 scientists. The global success of this program, considered the gold standard for laboratory sustainability and the cornerstone of our mission, highlights the scientific community’s commitment to making real, impactful environmental changes within their laboratories.
5: The ACT-Eco Label Program reached 2,540 Labels
Another significant achievement in 2023 was the ACT-Eco Label Program attaining a milestone of 2,540 labels! Labs demand substantial resources, and the products used contribute greatly to their environmental impact. The ACT-Eco Label program simplifies the process of selecting more sustainable products by providing third-party verified information about the impact of a product. Along with My Green Lab Certification, the ACT-Eco Label is one part of a community working to drive real change within labs.
6: The 2023 Freezer Challenge Saved 20.7 Million kWh of Energy
Since its launch in 2017 by My Green Lab and I2SL, the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge has experienced substantial growth, with the 2023 challenge marking its most successful year to date. Participating labs contributed to saving a whopping 20.7 million kWh of energy, corresponding to 14,663 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The challenge doubled the amount of CO2 saved in 2022, with nearly 2,000 laboratories around the world participating in the free competition that promotes energy efficiency through best practices in cold storage management. We are sure that 2024 will be another year of record-breaking success for this important green lab program.
7: AstraZeneca’s Penny James Joined the My Green Lab Board of Directors
My Green Lab was proud to announce the appointment of Penny James to its Board of Directors in 2023. As Chief Operating Officer in R&D BioPharmaceuticals at AstraZeneca, Penny brings extensive experience and a 30-year career marked by impactful leadership to the My Green Lab Board. We are honored and excited to have Penny on the team and look forward to her contributions to helping build a global culture of sustainability in science.
8: My Green Lab and Science Foundation Ireland launched a Sustainable Laboratory Certification Pilot Program
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) launched a program for the widespread rollout of My Green Lab Certification across all eligible, SFI-funded labs in 2023, creating the first nationwide sustainable lab program of its kind. In collaboration with My Green Lab, this program promises to reshape the landscape of lab sustainability in Ireland and around the world. A global first, this partnership will extend the reach of My Green Lab Certification and inspire other national and international foundations to invest in sustainability.
9: My Green Lab Sponsors Support Sustainable Science
Our growth in 2023 was made possible by our community of generous sponsors. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to these sponsors, whose unwavering support continues to play a pivotal role in bringing our mission to life. It is through their commitment that we can expand our initiatives, promote sustainable practices, and make a lasting impact on the scientific community.
10: My Green Lab’s Team: Continued Growth and Commitment to Sustainable Science
This year’s progress and growth wouldn’t have been attainable without the invaluable support and collaboration of the exceptional team at My Green Lab. As the momentum of our mission grew, so did our team – with four new additions strengthening our presence as an organization. Thank you to our team for their continued dedication to building a global culture of sustainability in science.
Chief Executive Officer, My Green Lab