Environmental impact labels now live on the CiteAb reagent search engine!


Min Read

In this blog:

  • What is an ACT label?
  • How have ACT labels been linked on the CiteAb search engine?
  • How will this help researchers make more informed purchasing decisions?

We’re excited to announce that ACT labels are now live on the CiteAb search engine!

Read on to find out more about ACT labels, the CiteAb reagent search engine and how linking to ACT labels from CiteAb is going to help researchers more easily evaluate the environmental impact of reagents they’re selecting through our search tool. 

What is an ACT Label?

ACT stands for accountability, consistency and transparency; neatly summarising the goals of this marker. 

My Green Lab, the publisher of ACT labels, describes them as:

‘An eco-nutrition label for lab products, providing information about the environmental impact of manufacturing, using, and disposing of a product and its packaging.’ 

On the labels, a variety of criteria are assessed to give an overall environmental impact factor, valid for two years. This gives researchers valuable information to evaluate on the effect of the product in areas such as water consumption, shipping, responsible chemical management and more.

The criteria on the label were curated with input from a variety of experts, including scientists, sustainability directors and procurement specialists, in order to give the most comprehensive overview of the product’s environmental impact. The labels are audited independently by the SMS Collaborative, LLC (SMSC)

Launched in 2017, the number of labels published has grown over the years and now cover consumables, equipment and chemicals and reagents.

You can find out more information about the labels here: https://act.mygreenlab.org/ 

How have ACT Labels been added into the CiteAb search engine?

Hundreds of thousands of researchers use the CiteAb search engine every year to find reagents for their experiments. We rank products only by citations, to transparently help researchers find reagents that will work. 

We have five search engines that researchers can use to find products on:

After performing a search, product pages can be evaluated for each reagent. These pages include extensive information for researchers, such as: experimental information, validation information, supplier details and published images.

We are excited that ACT labels now also appear on product pages. They will be signposted, when available, in the ‘supplier provided information’ section. Here, researchers will be able to click through to be taken to the My Green Lab site to view the labels. 

Image of the linked ACT label on a CiteAb product page
Example of how the ACT label will be signposted on CiteAb product pages if available

We want to provide as much information as possible to help our user’s product selection. Purchasing decisions can have big environmental impacts, so having easy access to this information can help labs to reduce their effect. >470 ACT Labels are now linked from CiteAb product pages.

We will keep adding labels as they become available, so this number will continue to grow and cover even more products on our reagent search engine!

Suppliers with ACT Labels for Chemicals and Reagents include: Future Fields, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Promega and Millipore Sigma.

What are the benefits of including ACT Labels on our reagent search engine for researchers?

A study by My Green Lab in partnership with Ugentem found that the biotech and pharmaceutical industries are amongst the largest carbon emitters globally [1]. One factor contributing to this is that labs purchase reagents year round, but often there is limited information on the environmental impact of those reagents.

By including ACT labels on CiteAb, we hope to facilitate more sustainable reagent purchasing decisions

Providing easy access to this resource via our search engine gives researchers the opportunity to evaluate even more information when making difficult product selection decisions, helping them to choose reagents with less negative environmental impact.

We’d love to hear from you!

We’re excited to continue adding ACT labels to the search engine as they become available, so look out for them on product pages! 

Suppliers, if getting ACT Labels for your products is something you’re interested in, you can check out the My Green Lab website for more details: https://act.mygreenlab.org/manufacturers.html 

Do also get in touch if you have any comments for us, we’d love to hear any feedback you have on how we can continue to improve our reagent search engine, and in particular how we can use our platform to help support further environmental initiatives. 

  • Rebecca and the CiteAb team


  1. https://www.mygreenlab.org/carbon-impact-report-resources.html
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