Sustainable Laboratories at UofG
The Centre for Sustainable Solutions gained funding for the S-Labs: Sustainable Laboratories at UofG project in 2021, and has affiliated with UCL to bring the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Protocol (LEAF) to the University of Glasgow. LEAF is a tool that will help our laboratories to assess and reduce the impact of their activities on the environment. It does not require a large time investment to implement. The S-Labs project builds on work already carried out by the University's GUEST team, and the iii Eco Group within MVLS.
LEAF is a framework designed to make sustainable laboratory practice easier to implement, and to track the savings that are made, both in terms of carbon savings and financial savings. Laboratories are responsible for most of the energy use on campus and produce most of the waste. Given the environmental impacts of laboratory operation, this project supports the University’s goal of reaching net zero for carbon emissions by 2030.
The need to show evidence of sustainable practice is also becoming increasingly important when it comes to obtaining funding, with UKRI and the Wellcome Trust both indicating that it will become a requirement in the future.
As part of the rollout of LEAF to interested labs, the Centre for Sustainable Solutions has developed a sustainable labs training course to help educate on the causes of, and some solutions to the leading causes of waste and energy use. This course has been designed to accommodate all lab users. We are also able to offer online or in-person training sessions on different aspects of sustainable lab practice for those wishing to sign up to LEAF. Check here for up-to-date information on the course.
S-Labs will also offer laboratory tours of facilities that have already engaged with LEAF, and audits of labs engaging with LEAF.
The goal of this project is to demonstrate how LEAF can quantify carbon and cost savings to the University of Glasgow. If successful, the Centre hopes to establish support for wider roll-out.