Green Lab Program

University of Miami’s Green Lab Program is designed to promote and support world-class science by engaging researchers in best practices to enhance safety, conserve resources, and reduce waste.

Green lab

This certification helps labs evaluate and address their impact in five key areas:

  1. Chemicals and Reagents
  2. Materials and Reuse
  3. Cold Storage
  4. Electronics and Appliances
  5. Engagement, Equity, and Inclusion

Here is the Green Lab Checklist


To be eligible for certification, a lab must prequalify by having no deficiencies on their annual lab safety inspection and/or resolving any minor deficiencies found within 1 month. To earn a certification, a lab must earn the necessary number of credits across five focus areas in the Green Lab Checklist. Certifications will be awarded on a scale of Bronze to Platinum.

Bronze - 7 actions completed
Silver - 14 actions completed
Gold - 21 actions completed
Platinum - 28 actions completed

Actions completed within the last calendar year qualify as completed pending reasonable verification. To verify, your lab will be asked to describe your approach or explain actions taken for each lab sustainability action item pursued using the Green Labs Badge and Certification forms. 

Certification awards last up to two years following the award date. Timeline flexibility will be addressed on a case-by-case basis (if, for example, a lab is interrupted by renovations or if the lab can verify that past actions have been updated over time).

Apply for Certification

To get started, please complete the following steps:

  1. Identify your lab’s Green Liaison: This person will be the primary contact between the participating research group and the Office of Sustainability, and will coordinate efforts to earn the Green Lab certification. Review teh Green Lab Checklist

  2. Email to express interest in pursuing the program. 

  3. Complete the electronic form sent to your Green Liaison.

  4. Meet with the Office of Sustainability’s Green Lab’s Coordinator for 30 minutes to develop your certification action plan.

 Green Lab Toolkit

ACT Label Interest Form Credit M-3 in the Green Lab Certification asks participants to fill out the form to acknowledge they have read and learned about the ACT Label's efforts to promote sustainable lab supplies.

Certification Pledge Sheet Several credits in the Green Lab Certification (R-4, E-6, and E-7) require participants to sign the linked pledge.

Shut the Sash Questionnaire Credit R-3 in the Green Lab Certification asks participants to fill out the form to show that they are aware of fume hood best practices.

-70 CU Boulder Database Colorado University at Boulder maintains a database of samples that they have successfully maintained at -70C. This can be a valuable resource when considering how to store samples at -70C.

Freezer Best Practices Experts from UM’s Miller School of Medicine created a best practices sheet for properly and sustainably maintaining cold storage.


12 Principles of Green Chemistry Developed by Paul Anastas and John Warner in 1998, these principles outline a framework for making a greener chemical, process, or product.

ACS Solvent Selection Tool This tool provides the ability to interactively select solvents based on the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the solvent's physical properties. It is intended to inform and guide users towards greener and safer solvents for selected criteria

DOZN™ Quantitative Green Chemistry Evaluator The DOZN™ tool is a quantitative, industry-first tool that uses the 12 principles of green chemistry for comparing the relative greenness of similar chemicals, synthetic routes, and chemical processes.

Green Chemistry, Alternatives My Green Labs highlights several resources for finding more sustainable alternatives to chemical supplies commonly used in the lab. Included on this webpage are Green Chemistry discussion guides for your lab as well as other materials.

ACT Label Background The Accountability, Consistency, and Transparency (ACT) Label is a sustainable purchasing label for laboratory supplies. It was created by My Green Lab and all products are independently verified by SMS Collaborative, LLC (SMSC). Follow the link to learn more and access a database of sustainable lab supplies.


BETR Grants This initiative is led by the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories' (I2SL) University Alliance Group (UAG). It works to integrate sustainability into grant applications, coordinating with major funding agencies to provide research-based incentives for labs to become greener.

Open All Tabs
  • Freezer Challenge

    The University of Miami’s Office of Sustainability challenges you to participate in the Freezer Challenge! The Freezer Challenge is a cold storage competition for laboratories run by the non-profit organizations My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL).   

    The challenge occurs every Spring semester and is designed to encourage all labs to recognize the benefits of good cold storage management.  Labs also earn points for sharing information about their own best practices regarding sample storage and inventory.  Awards will be given to those who have done the most to save energy and improve their sample storage. 

    Although the 2023 International Freezer Challenge does not begin until January 1st, 2023, you can pre-register using this form. When the Challenge launches, you will be emailed a participant score sheet and further instructions within several days.

    Am I Eligible to Participate?

    If your lab uses ultra-ultra low temperature freezers (-150 °C), ultra-low temperature freezers (-70 °C to -80 °C), lab freezers (-40 °C to -20 °C), refrigerators, or cold rooms, you can earn points in the Freezer Challenge by taking any combination of actions listed below. In the majority of situations, earn 1 point for each action taken per cold storage unit.  You can learn more about the cold storage best practices included in the Freezer Challenge here. The best practices are grouped into four categories:

    • Good Management Practices
    • Temperature Tuning
    • Retirements & Upgrades
    • Cutting-Edge Practices

    What are the Benefits of Participating?

    This challenge is designed to encourage laboratories to recognize the benefits of good cold storage management, such as:

    • Removal of unneeded, unwanted, or non-viable samples from refrigeration units
    • Reduced costs associated with maintaining refrigeration units.
    • Improved researcher access to laboratory samples and reagents.
    • Development of ongoing cold storage management practices that support energy efficiency and maximize space utility.

  • Sustainable Procurement

    ACT-Labeled Products

    The ACT Environmental Impact Factor Label was designed to address the need of both scientists and procurement specialists for clear, third-party verified information about the environmental impact of laboratory products. By emphasizing Accountability, Consistency, and Transparency (ACT) around manufacturing, energy and water use, packaging, and end-of-life, ACT makes it easy to choose more sustainable products.

    VWR carries ACT-labeled products, but not all products are ACT-labeled. Please email if there is a product you wish to purchase that does not have an environmental impact label.

    Image Credit: My Green Lab

  • Laboratory Waste and Recycling

    UM’s Green Labs Program is working to create a laboratory recycling program to allow researchers to divert their most-used items from the landfill. In the meantime, our vendors have mail-back recycling programs that can be utilized for:

    • Aerosol Cans
    • Batteries
    • Disposable apparel
    • Disposable gloves
    • Pipet tip boxes
    • Protective gear
    • Safety equipment 

    Please contact us at to explore your waste diversion options.