February 2016
University of Bristol

Sustainability Website

The Sustainability Department is re-developing and upgrading its website. The new site will see Sustainability, the Cabot Institute and Bristol Green Capital come together under same umbrella of all things 'green' in the University. We welcome any suggestions from you in terms of content or layout.

What are we doing with our water?
Up until now we haven't had an in-depth understanding of our water consumption here at UoB. In Sustainability we are currently identifying our biggest users, in order to carry out thorough surveys and install comprehensive metering data. This can help us identify leaks and inefficiencies within our buildings. As expected, laboratories require greater volumes of water than other building types, mostly for the purpose of washing and cooling. As large consumers there is more opportunity for cost-effective improvements in water consumption.  
Department Water consumption (m3) % of university
Chemistry 40,272 20%
Physics 24,320 12%
Biomedical 16,841 8%
Our Chemistry, Physics and Biomedical Schools are the three biggest consumers of water
One of the most common and wasteful practices is tap-to-drain cooling systems. These can often be replaced by single or centralised re-circulating/closed-loop systems. The aim is to gather as much information about current systems across the University and conduct a cost-benefit analysis for a replacement project. If you have a tap-to-drain water cooling system in your laboratory that you think could qualify, plese email

Sustainable Lab Interns

We are looking for students to help deliver a range of Sustainable Lab related projects. We are ideally seeking science students who have experience of being in a laboratory environment. 

Projects include:
  • Energy and Water monitoring of equipment in labs, with the aim of replacing old inefficient equipment.
  • Lab environmental audits.
  • Becoming a Green Impact Labs Project Assistant.
  • Helping to promote Sustainable Labs to lab users.
These will be paid intern-ships that will run as a summer program. Additionally there are flexible working hours available prior to the summer. Please contact for details. 

Green Chemistry

Chemicals are used in vast quantities across our University as they are necessary for our research. We can't stop using chemicals, but we can consider the type of chemical and manner in which we use it. Green chemistry aims to reduce the toxicity, resource and energy use and pollution of chemicals. 

There are ways in which we can both reduce risk and minimise the environmental footprint of our chemicals. We can achieve this by taking into account the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry.   
12 Principles of Green Chemistry
Try substituting some of your more hazardous and toxic chemicals with greener alternatives using the SIN (Substitute It Now!) List. This is a tool developed by ChemSec who bases the criteria on Substances of Very High Concern in the EU chemicals regulation REACH.

If you're not a chemist but still use chemicals in your research, Sigma have a list of Life Sciences products that are aligned with the 12 principles that are safer and more environmentally friendly. 


1) Sustainable Labs UoB will be speaking at the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) conference at UWE in May. The theme for this year's Annual Conference is Learning and Legacy: The Role of Education in Creating Healthier, Happier Cities

2) Art contest. An opportunity to win a meal out by designing some art for Sustainable Labs UoB. More information here. 

3) 10-12 Berkeley Square, our new Law School refurbishment has made the BREEAM shortlst. Show support for this fantastic achievement of sustainable design and construction by voting
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Website: S-Labs UoB 

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