NIH 2018 Green Labs Program

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The NIH Green Labs Program is an initiative of the Sustainability Management Team to recognize laboratories who choose to reduce their environmental footprint by participating in NIH environmental initiatives. 

The purpose of the program is to recognize laboratories for their achievements; to encourage greater participation in NIH environmental initiatives; and to make it easier for researchers learn about environmental stewardship by providing one source of information about relevant programs, policies, regulations, and mandates. 

The Green Labs program is a self-assessment tool.  Laboratory personnel can apply to the program by filling out one form, which has 32 statements.

The topics covered in the NIH Green Labs Assessment tool include:


  • Energy Conservation
  • Freezer Management
  • Water Conservation
  • Chemical Waste
  • Medical Pathological
  • Radioactive Waste
  • Waste reduction
  • Recycling
  • Green Chemistry
  • Inventory Management
  • Outreach


Who can apply? All laboratories are eligible to apply. Any person representing the lab can apply to the program by filling out the Green Labs Assessment.

What is the application process? First, please take a few minutes to read the Green Lab Self- Assessment statements hereIt may take a little bit of time to collect enough information to reply to these 32 statements. Once you have all of the information, please follow this link to fill out the Green Lab Self-Assessment form.  Please select the best choice among the options: "True: We do this" "False: We do not do this," or "Not Applicable: NA" to reflect the current practices in your lab. 

After reading the Green Lab Self-Assessment statements, if you become aware and recognize that you are willing to participate in an environmental initiative, please respond "True," as your commitment in doing this moving forward. For instance, if you have not subscribed to the NIH Green Zone Newsletter, you can sign up and then respond "True," before filling the Green Lab Assessment.

Please note that the application MUST be completed all at one time.  It is not possible to complete part of the application, and come back to finish it later.  The anticipated time to complete the application is about 10 minutes. Once all of the responses to the statements are provided, please click "Finish" to submit the application.  

What is the Timeframe? Applications for the 2018 Green Labs Program can be submitted until Dec 31, 2018. Once the application is submitted, it is locked for review. The Green Labs Program Manager will review the application and send a reply within 2 weeks. 

What is the Criteria to achieve a Green Lab Certification? There are two criteria:

  1. The first five statements refer to practices that are required by NIH policy, and therefore affirmative "True" or not applicable responses to each of these 5 statements are mandatory to achieve a Green Lab Certification. 
  2. In addition, the next 27 statements refer to initiatives that are preferred, but not required. Labs that reply   "True" to   10 of these statements will receive the NIH Green Lab Certification.  

How will labs be recognized for achieving the Green Lab? The NIH Sustainability Management Team (SMT) will award Green Lab Certificates to each lab that applies to the program and meets the criteria.  The SMT will also share the results with the NIH Office of Intramural Research and the IC Scientific Directors.

For additional information, please contact the Green Labs Program Manager, 

A note of appreciation: The NIH Green Labs Program is adapted from My Green Lab, a non-profit organization which collaborated with Universities in California including UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UC San Francisco, and UC Los Angeles, to develop a Green Lab assessment tool.  The NIH Green Labs Program was developed to fit the circumstances and priorities of NIH laboratories.