The Green Lab Certification program from My Green Lab, the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the sustainability of scientific research, has been selected as a key indicator of progress for the UNFCCC High Level Climate Champions’ 2030 Breakthroughs campaign. In the lead up to the COP26 Climate Change Conference, the Green Lab Certification program was chosen as a key player to help pharmaceutical and medical tech companies achieve the goal of a zero carbon world by 2050.
Race to Zero is the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial, educational, and healthcare institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world in time.
During the global pandemic, over 3,000 businesses, 173 of the biggest investors, 733 cities, 31 regions, 622 higher education institutions, and 37 healthcare institutions representing over 3,000 hospitals have joined as the largest ever alliance committed to the same overarching goal: reducing emissions across all scopes swiftly and fairly in line with the Paris Agreement, with transparent action plans and robust near-term targets.
As part of this effort to accelerate climate action, the 2030 Breakthroughs campaign shows what key actors must do, and by when, to deliver the systems change we need to achieve a resilient, zero carbon world in time across the 30 sectors of the global economy.
Green Lab Certification is the global gold standard for laboratory sustainability best practices and the cornerstone of My Green Lab’s mission to build a global culture of sustainability in science. The program covers 14 topics related to energy, water, waste, chemistry/materials, and engagement, and provides scientists and the teams that support work within laboratories actionable ways to make real and impactful environmental changes. To date, My Green Lab has supported nearly 700 labs in a variety of sectors engaging over 4,600 scientists from 29 different countries.
The UNFCCC High Level Climate Champions’ 2030 Breakthroughs outlines three measurable and achievable goals for the short, medium, and long term that will drive the long term decarbonization across every sector of the global economy. These goals include targeting 20% of sector-specific key actors joining Race to Zero by 2023; defining sector-specific “Breakthrough Outcomes” that indicate and drive system change by 2030; and sector-specific goals, delivered by 2050 – the net zero future states following these system changes.
The Breakthrough Outcome for the Pharma Sector states, “95% of labs across major pharma and med-tech companies are My Green Lab certified at the green-level by 2030.” My Green Lab’s Certification program was selected because it is a clear, measurable goal that enables the system changes necessary to turn Race to Zero’s vision into a reality in the scientific industry by targeting carbon hotspots and key leverage points.
“AstraZeneca is a proud early supporter of the Race to Zero campaign and has ambitious targets to be net zero across our global operations by 2025, as well as carbon negative across our entire value chain by 2030. So far, we’ve adopted My Green Lab Certification in over 65 labs around the world. This is a key way in which we are accelerating carbon reduction in healthcare R&D and instilling a culture of sustainability at AstraZeneca,” says Penny James, Chief Operating Officer, Biopharmaceuticals R&D, at AstraZeneca.
Green Lab Certification helps to drive down the impact of research labs, a major driver of carbon impact, while inspiring individuals within those labs to develop a culture of sustainability, creating far reaching impacts. For pharmaceutical and medical tech companies, this cultural shift motivates and informs scientists and laboratory staff as they build the next generation of treatments, ensuring sustainability is integrated into how they produce new products for the market.
Further, Green Lab Certification encourages companies to tackle their Scope 3 emissions (the indirect emissions from their supply chains) by encouraging sustainable purchasing of lab supplies leveraging My Green Lab’s ACT label, the first of its kind eco-nutrition label for laboratory products.
“The High Level Climate Champions’ 2030 Breakthroughs outline a bold, ambitious vision, but these goals must be followed up by concerted action with real impact. Green Lab Certification is a critical tool to drive action on the ground in the industry, and we firmly believe it is possible for all labs globally to go green by 2030 and absolutely necessary if we are going to achieve a long term zero carbon target for the industry,” says James Connelly, My Green Lab’s Chief Executive Officer.
Learn more about Green Lab Certification at mygreenlab.org/programs.