Sustainability and environmental stewardship

NEB – sustainable without styrofoam:
Eco-friendly & compostable shipping boxes!

In Germany and Austria, we have gradually converted our shipping logistics for frozen and refrigerated goods for you: Instead of the usual polystyrene (“styrofoam”) insulation boxes, we now use sustainable and environmentally friendly shipping boxes with straw or hemp insulation, which require 50 times less energy in production.

This new, environmentally friendly insulated box meets the strictest criteria for reliable and sustainable shipping:

  • Functional: shock-absorbing, moisture-regulating and very good insulating properties
  • Ecological: climate-neutral production in Germany from straw or hemp
  • Pure: From pure, thermally treated straw/hemp fibres in food quality
  • Tested: best insulation performance tested according to internal and external standards
  • Certified: tested and certified according to high hygienic standards
    (DIN EN15593, GMP-Verordnung (EG) Nr. 2023/2006, (EG) Nr. 1935/2004)

For more information about our eco-friendly shipper in the US, please click here.


Please dispose of cardboard with your local recycling program. Straw or hemp ­insulation ­panels are compostable and can be disposed of with your ­organic waste. In ­Germany you can also return the complete box by using the ­„return to sender“ ­sticker that accompanies the shipment. Do you have any questions or remarks?
free call: 0800/246-5227 (in Germany)
free call: 00800/246-52277 (in Austria)

This is what NEB customers are saying:

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NEB has become a certified B Corporation
„Using business as a force for good”

NEB is excited to announce that it has become a Certified B Corporation™, a recognition awarded to organizations with the highest standards for social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. B Corp™ certification goes beyond evaluating a product or service; it looks at the overall impact of a company by evaluating how a company treats its employees, customers, its community and the environment


Green PE-Foil
100% recyclable and CO2 climate neutral

At New England Biolabs we send our customer magazine “NEB-Aktuell”, our catalogues or other special prints and brochures in protective “Green PE” foil – if possible bundled with several printed materials in one delivery.

The Green PE foil used is 100% recyclable and CO2 climate neutral, as it is not generated from fossil resources, but exclusively from renewable raw materials such as sugar and starch. Green PE is an “eco-film” approved for shipping by Deutsche Post. If the Green PE foil is not recycled directly via the PE recycling stream, it is completely decomposed into water and CO2 when thermally re-used by waste incineration.

Because not all organic products are the same

What are the differences?

Bioplastics are a group of different plastics with very different properties. However, they must always meet at least one of two “bio” criteria.

Biobased means that at least part of the plastic consists of renewable, i.e. vegetable raw materials, e.g. sugar, starch, oils, cellulose, etc.

Biodegradable means that the plastic can be degraded by naturally occurring microorganisms. This produces water, CO2 and a small amount of biomass. Bio-based plastics can be biodegradable, but do not have to be.

Bioplastics in comparison

Green PE foils (used by NEB) are bio-based and 100% recyclable, but not biodegradable. The raw material used is chemically identical to standard PE quality and therefore provides identical mechanical properties. However, since the raw material used for the production of the raw material is non-fossil (no crude oil), but bio-based and renewable (sugar, starch, cellulose…), Green PE film is much more sustainable than conventionally produced PE films. When used thermally, Green PE breaks down into water and CO2 without further residues.

Biodegradable foils are bio-based and completely biodegradable under industrial composting conditions. The raw material used is PLA. The mechanical properties of biodegradable films are worse than those of PE or Green PE films. The modified raw material also gives the film an unmistakable optical and haptic “biofeeling”. For many applications, e.g. garbage bags, etc., the properties are absolutely sufficient, but not for use in postal dispatch.

Oxo-degradable is not “bio”.
Oxo-degradable or oxo-degradable plastics are often wrongly referred to as bioplastics. But they are anything but “bio”. Materials such as cobalt, manganese or iron are added to these plastics. Under the influence of UV light, heat and oxygen, the polymer chains are dissolved and the material decomposes into minute particles. In contrast to biodegradable plastics, however, there is no complete decomposition of the plastic by microorganisms. Although the plastic is no longer visible to the eye, it is still present and represents a major problem in our ecosystem in the form of microplastics. It is also foreseeable that oxo-degradable films will be banned in the EU due to their negative properties.


biodegradable Green PE
(as used by NEB)
Standard PE
biobased yes yes no
bio-degradbable yes no no
recyclable yes yes yes
mechanical properties + +++ +++
applicable as bag yes yes yes
shrink films no yes yes
foils for automation no yes yes
approved by logistics carrier no yes yes

A pioneer in environmental protection:
We have used sustainable paper for our printed products since our founding in 1975

Did you know that the first NEB catalog in 1975 was printed on recycled paper already? “Science should not be done at the expense of the environment!” – an attitude that has been deeply rooted at NEB ever since the company was founded. The effort to keep our ecological footprint as small as possible is considered in all economic decisions made.

All our printed products such as catalogs, posters and brochures are made from certified environmental protection paper!

We use recycled paper and/or paper fibers from sustainable forestry, bleached without chlorine. Our local printing office is also certified for environmental protection and uses environmentally friendly inks and coatings, mostly of natural origin.

CO2 carbon-neutral print production:
International climate and ocean protection
NEB supports the development of sustainable power supply and promotes regional commitment to clean oceans


For many years, we at NEB have relied on CO2 climate-neutral production for our print products such as catalogs, brochures or posters. With the help of our partner company “Climate Partner”, we calculate all CO2 emissions that are unavoidably generated in the process and offset them by supporting approved climate protection projects. In the past, we supported projects to protect chimpanzees and gorillas in Central Africa, e.g.

Currently, we are promoting sustainable power supply in various regions. The development of wind and solar parks for energy production offers an enormous potential to save CO2 emissions. Our sponsored parks in India (, the Philippines ( and Aruba ( contribute directly to climate protection. At the same time, the facilities offer the local population attractive jobs and affordable, clean energy.

Our additional commitment: 10 kg of plastic collected for every tonne of CO2 offset.

With our combined projects, we link guaranteed emission reductions through a certified carbon offset project with regional commitment to protect our seas. Several initiatives incl. Plastic Bank Initiative prevent plastic waste from entering the sea and contribute to improving the livelihoods of the local people – thus indirectly protecting the climate.

Read the project details here:
Climate Project 1087: An international carbon offset project combined with additional regional commitment

Selection of Climate-neutral Certificates of NEB print productions:

NEB Catalog & Technical Reference 2020

NEB Calendar 2020

NEB Eco-Box (big)

NEB Eco-Box (small)

NEBNext Direct brochure

NEBNext Single Cell brochure

Monarch brochure

NEB Newsflash

Environmental Commitment

We do not only focus on minimal environmental impact when shipping our products or manufacturing and packaging our brochures.

Already during the development and production processes at New England Biolabs, Inc. in the US, special attention is paid to maximum energy efficiency and environmental protection. This includes an intelligent, sustainable building design, a waste management and recycling program, including a waste water treatment plant, and the use of solar energy. Find out more in our video.

More Information about this initiative
A small step with a strong impact
NEB is committed to sustainability – even in its light sources

In cooperation with our partner Green Vision, the lights at New England Biolabs were replaced by energy-saving and sustainable LED lamps. Compared to the conventional, mercury-containing fluorescent tubes previously used, the environmentally friendly light sources promise a 3-fold longer lifetime in conjunction with a lower energy consumption. Thanks to the high-quality standard, we are now ready and prepared for the future. With this initiative, we are saving an amount of CO2 equivalent to over 14,000 trees.

More Information about this initiative

With the Labconscious Blog we have created an information platform that can help you to make laboratory work more environmentally friendly. Here you will find a number of tips on how to avoid plastic waste, save energy in the laboratory and other aspects of environmental protection.

Environmental stewardship is one of the founding principles of NEB. Learn more about our efforts at .

Further information can be found in our Technical Resources section or at Information on trademarks can be found here.