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Green Labs

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Green Labs Executive Committee

The Green Labs program at Penn is guided by an Executive Committee:

  • Mike Talley, Penn Procurement Services
  • Elizabeth Littauer, EHRS
  • Eli Preston, PSOM, Genetics
  • Emily Cribas, PSOM, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Nina Morris, Penn Sustainability

Green Labs Guide

The numerous labs on campus provide a prime opportunity to reduce our environmental impact and help us reach the goals set forth in Penn’s Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0.  Penn Sustainability created the Green Labs Guide to provide overall guidelines for lab greening and recognizes that some labs will be able to complete more actions than others.

The Green Labs Guide describes daily, monthly and annual actions that can be done to consistently make labs on campus greener. There are a variety of campus labs ranging from small undergraduate classrooms to large medical research facilities and as such, lab greening will vary based on the location, size, and type of research conducted in each lab.  Lab staff should aim to complete the actions that are possible for your lab based on the resources available and the manner in which your lab operates. 

There are two options for labs to complete the Green Labs Commitment. 

1. Labs can print the Commitment Form and Green Labs Checklist from the Penn Sustainability website, complete and scan the documents, and email them to, OR

2. Labs can complete the Green Labs Checklist digitally on this Qualtrics form.

After Penn Sustainability reviews your scanned documents OR submitted Qualtrics form, you will receive a commitment sticker and framed certificate to proudly display in your lab. You will also be asked to renew your commitment every 3 years.

If you have any questions, please email

Committed Green Labs

Bushman Lab, Microbiology Perelman School of Medicine
Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Lautenbach Lab Perelman School of Medicine
GRASP @ PERCH School of Engineering & Applied Science / Pennovation
Kayser Lab, Psychiatry Perelman School of Medicine
Leung Lab, Dermatology Perelman School of Medicine

Materials Science and Engineering Instructional Laboratory

Perelman School of Medicine
Michael Abt Lab, Microbiology School of Engineering & Applied Science
Microbiome Therapy, Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Infectious Disease Perelman School of Medicine
Murray Lab Perelman School of Medicine
Paleoecology Lab School of Arts and Sciences / Penn Museum
Stephenson Educational Lab & BioMaker Space School of Engineering & Applied Science

Green Labs Working Group + Audits

Penn Sustainability facilitates the Green Labs Working Group, which meets on a quarterly basis to discuss ways to make laboratory operations more sustainable. If you are interested in attending a meeting and/or being added to the email listserv, please contact

Green Labs Executive Committee member Eli Preston will also come to your lab to conduct a custom audit of your practices and give suggestions for sustainable practices to implement. If you are interested in an audit, please contact

Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer Program

The Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) Freezer Efficiency Program was established to reduce the number of old and under-utilized freezers and provide an incentive for the purchase of highly efficient ULT freezers. The program includes incentives for both recycling existing freezers and purchasing new freezers. For more information, visit the Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer Program page.

Reusable Sharps Container Program

The Reusable Sharps Container Program is available to all University laboratories for disposing of biohazardous sharps waste. This program eliminates the cost and waste associated with purchasing disposable containers, as well as the labor and energy associated with autoclaving the waste. 

Lab Supplies and Equipment Disposal

The Penn Purchasing Services website offers additional information about recycling and reuse programs for various lab products, including USA Scientific TipOne racks and inserts, Corning product packaging, and Beckman Coulter centrifuges and rotors.

EHRS Chemical Inventory

Environmental Health and Radiation Safety requires all laboratories with hazardous chemicals to participate in the Chemical Inventory Program. This program allows labs to share chemicals, which minimizes waste and cuts down on costs.

Other Resources

See additional resources in the Downloads section below, including a poster on mailing back Styrofoam, information about Corning's recycling program, and reminder signage for shutting the sash, turning the lights off, turning off lab equipment, and chilling up freezers.

Related Links