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Lab work has a significant impact on the environment, ranging from energy and resource consumption to chemical and equipment use and disposal.

There are clear environmental and financial benefits in choosing to be more sustainable in laboratories. Adopting more sustainable practices can fundamentally change businesses and institutions to become more environmentally friendly.

Understanding where your greatest sustainability impacts are coming from can empower lab users to optimise methods while reducing wastage and inefficiencies wherever possible – saving more money for great science!

First steps to a more sustainable lab


1. Manage your fume cupboard

Close the sash when away, and switch off the extract fan when not in use. Do not use the fume cupboard as a ventilated chemical store – use a bespoke ventilated chemical storage cabinet instead, saving 99% of the energy.

2. Reduce, reuse and substitute

A huge amount of lab plastic waste is avoidable, e.g. through decontamination and reuse, or substitution with non-plastic items.

3. Manage your freezers

Create a sample management database/freezer map to ensure you don’t need to keep the freezer door open for a long time when locating a sample. Consider increasing the temperature of lab freezers from -80 to -70 to achieve a 25-30% energy saving.

4. Be conscious of what you use and why

Plan experiments to avoid repeats, use appropriate amounts, and avoid unnecessary usage of disposable items.

5. Switch off what you can

Power down wherever possible, particularly on weekends and at night. Plug-in timers can help.

6. Manage your chemicals

Use and order appropriate quantities, and check

• availability of the chemical in your organisation’s other labs
• chemical waste is disposed of correctly

Key principles


Chemicals and materials: Follow the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, including reducing hazard levels by substitution of solvents, acids and bases.

Waste and recycling: ensure all lab users are aware that uncontaminated lab items (e.g. cleaned chemical tubs, cardboard packaging) can be placed in standard recycling bins outside the lab.

Cold storage: check there are no unnecessary or expired samples taking up space. Vacuum the air filter and heat exchanger fins. Defrost or remove ice and frost build-up.

Scientific equipment: buy efficient quality equipment from Evolve. Use equipment efficiently, for example fitting timer plugs.

Lighting: bench-mounted task lighting can be more useful than overhead lighting, especially if the lab is only occupied by one or two people.

Water: avoid process cooling with tap water – use a recirculating chiller instead for better temperature control and less flood risk; avoid distilled water (very energy intensive to produce) and use DI or RO instead.

How Evolve can help you


At Evolve, we take great pride in being more than just a leading supplier of lab and science equipment.

We strive to incorporate environmental responsibility into every aspect of our business. Our commitment to sustainability goes hand in hand with our mission to provide cutting-edge solutions to the scientific community.

Evolve can help you make your lab more sustainable. Call us on +356 2248 9900 or get in touch by email at

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