Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Laboratory Sustainability Fair showcases green small businesses

Making sure that procurement is as environmentally sound.
May 2, 2018
Laboratory Sustainability Fair showcases green small businesses

Representatives from EspaƱola-based PMI Enterprises discuss their green cleaning and catering products at the Sustainability Fair.

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"The Laboratory has a responsibility to promote sustainable purchasing, and to promote small businesses in the region," says Chris Fresquez, small business program manager at the Lab.- Janet Kerley, Environmental Safety and Health Program Manager/Instructor at SFCC

As you can imagine for an institution that employees over 11,000 people, every year Los Alamos National Laboratory purchases a wide range of equipment from specialist scientific instruments to janitorial supplies. Helping to make sure that procurement is as environmentally sound as possible was the aim of Laboratory's third annual Sustainability Fair that took place April 26.

The fair, a collaboration between the Laboratory's Pollution Prevention team, Acquisition Services Division (ASM) and the Laboratory's Small Business Program, showcased sustainable options at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos.

"There are an increasing number of green equivalents of products and available to Lab consumers," says Maryrose Montalvo from the Laboratory's Pollution Prevention Program. "Working together with the Small Business Program means we can highlight vendors and suppliers and their environmentally friendly offerings that are already approved for purchase."

Lawrence describes his company to a potential customer.Lawrence Apodaca from Albuquerque-based LTA Enterprises describes his company’s vegetable-based lubricants for machine shop equipment.

Across the Laboratory, designated employees make purchases for their groups and teams, and the fair gave these purchasers a chance to talk to suppliers and view samples of green products that might be appropriate. Other Laboratory employees who request or use particular equipment were also invited to attend.

The success of the Laboratory's efforts to promote green purchasing was underlined by the US Department of Energy Gold Level Greenbuy Awards the Lab received for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

Moving to no-VOC paints and LED lighting are two areas of implementation, but Montalvo says that even cleaning products can have much less environmental impact than in earlier years. "There are green cleaning alternatives currently available that perform well, are reasonably priced and are environmentally friendly. These are some of the options we want to educate Lab consumers and procurement staff about."

"The Laboratory has a responsibility to promote sustainable purchasing, and to promote small businesses in the region," says Chris Fresquez, small business program manager at the Lab. "The Sustainability Fair is a great way to help do both."