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Sustainable procurement at the DPZ

Purchasing Unit acquires climate-neutral FFP2 masks
FFP2 masks have become indispensable in the pandemic. Photo: Stockhausen -

In the office, while shopping or in the daycare center – the FFP2 masks have become our daily companions. Even in the DPZ premises, the masks have to be worn by the employees. Our Purchasing Unit is constantly replenishing the supply. Most of the masks are produced in China and are not very climate-friendly due to the long supply chains. In addition, they often do not fit well and sometimes emit an unpleasant odor. However, there are now also more sustainable, German products that are certified by a testing body here in Germany or in France and thus do not have to travel halfway around the world before we put them on our noses.

"The masks are particularly kind to the skin and you can breathe better underneath," says DPZ safety engineer Ralf Göltzer. "They are also produced without pollutants and are climate-neutral. These criteria also outweigh higher costs."

The Purchasing Unit at the DPZ is the control center for all goods and consumables used at the DPZ on a daily basis. The department's employees also strive to use sustainable, regional products wherever possible. For example, the fruit for the daily supply of the approximately 1,200 monkeys at the DPZ has always been purchased from Fruchthof Northeim. "We also pay attention to climate-neutral production for other laboratory consumables, such as pipette tips, gloves or Petri dishes," says Thorsten Mühl, head of the Purchasing Unit at the DPZ. "In the future, we also want to increasingly scrutinize environmental certificates and the carbon footprint of the relevant companies in new tenders and, as far as possible, also use sustainability as a criterion for retaining old contracts."