As a supplier of life science products, we’re focused on reducing waste—for ourselves and for our customers. When minimizing waste in the lab, every little bit helps. Did you know that we have criteria for what “less waste” means? We evaluate a product to determine whether or not it meets one or more of the following four criteria: it reduces the need to use other materials, it’s made with less material, it contains recycled content, or it contains content from renewable resources. For example, Invitrogen Cells-to-CT kits reduce plastic consumable waste by ~95% compared to traditional RNA extraction methods. So not only do these standards give us a concrete way to determine whether a product is sustainable, they allow our customers to use fewer resources, helping them to reduce costs.
With this in mind, we've put together a list of green solutions for less waste and "greenlight" our key products below.
Two things that are tough to change in a lab are established protocols and familiar reagents. But as a leader in providing researchers around the world with cell culture products, we know the importance of offering sustainable solutions. Therefore, over the years we’ve taken steps to dramatically reduce our collective carbon footprint, like designing the iconic Gibco boxy bottle or the One Shot 50 mL FBS bottle, with more green innovations being developed every day.
Whether it’s changing our packaging designs or the product formulation itself to be more environmentally friendly, we’re continually looking for ways to improve our world. Let’s work together to figure out how we can make cell culture more sustainable. If you have an idea for a new innovative solution that can drive sustainability in labs across our planet, please share it with us for a chance to receive a Gibco sustainability pin.
A greener DNA quantitation assay
The Invitrogen Qubit 1X dsDNA High Sensitivity (HS) Assay Kit supports our environmental initiatives by using less material and generating less waste. This DNA quantitation kit was created specifically for use with Invitrogen Qubit fluorometers. The assay is highly selective for double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) over RNA and is designed to be accurate for initial sample concentrations from
- Up to 75 kg of plastic waste prevented from going to landfill each year
- Up to 215 kg of CO2 equivalents, or the CO2 emissions from burning 236 pounds of coal 
Invitrogen Attune and Attune NxT Flow Cytometers
Attune instruments provide high sensitivity and throughput without sacrificing performance or accuracy. Acoustic focusing technology allows for more control over the sample, enabling increased flow rates without destroying cellular populations or losing sensitivity of detection. Running a flow cytometry experiment not only becomes easier, but greener: by limiting the amount of fluid used. Other "less waste" features include:
- Low sheath fluid usage—generates only about 1–2 L of biological waste per run versus the 20 L generated by conventional cytometers, a reduction of 90–95%
- High sample collection rates enable a no-wash/no-lyse protocol that reduces workflow time and buffer usage, while minimizing cell loss and damage
Using fewer resources than other real-time PCR systems
Compared to other qPCR systems, Applied Biosystems QuantStudio 6 and 7 Pro systems have smaller blocks and heated covers that use up to 54% less material. The footprint is 48–71% smaller, promoting more efficient use of laboratory space and increasing freight density to help reduce emissions during transit. The amount of calibration materials needed has also been reduced and the instruments are more energy efficient, using up to 26% less energy to process one sample plate. These systems are manufactured at our zero waste–certified facility in Marsiling, Singapore.
Applied Biosystems SeqStudio Cartridge Recycling Program
Providing a responsible way to recycle helps to reduce waste. All companies in partnership with recycling SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer Cartridges are experienced in electronic waste and many have international accreditations. Two of our largest recycling partners are e-End in the United States and Sims Recycling Solutions in Europe. By recycling SeqStudio Cartridges, we estimate that our customers will be able to divert 516 kg of waste from landfill each year. This translates to 1.53 metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of driving 3,750 miles in an average passenger vehicle. We support diverting waste from landfills by recovering and reusing our natural resources. This SeqStudio Cartridge recycling program is one small way we are reducing our environmental footprint.
Discover how we, along with our customers, are trying to make every day Earth Day. Learn about our pillars of sustainability, which includes: less waste, less hazardous, energy efficient and sustainable packaging.
One shared pursuit
Hear from Cristina Amorim, VP of EHS & Sustainability as she shares ways in which we're taking steps towards serving our customers in sustainable ways, including: 14 zero waste-certified facilities and a recent commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
Packaging design must consider how to protect the product and minimize impact on the environment. We’re started using 100% recyclable paper coolers for cold shipping and that’s only the beginning.
What does “less hazardous” really mean? Find out about how we evaluate less hazardous products and learn about the ACT label, an eco-nutrition label that helps you make greener choices for the lab.
Are you “thinking green” already? Share your story while learning about other environmentally conscious researchers. Let's celebrate every step along our green journey together.
We release a new issue of Life in the Lab three times a year. Subscribe to stay in the know, especially as our shared pursuit of sustainability continues. When printed, our magazines use soy-based inks, are printed with zero VOC technology and are FSC certified. For the rest of 2020, we’ll be going exclusively digital in honor of the 50th Anniversary of World Earth Day.
For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.