Southmead are leading the way
In the Learning and Research Building at Southmead a new Green Team has been formed, consisting of Green Team Leaders (Georgina Mortimer, Caroline Jarrett and Saranna Chipper-Keating) and several Green Lab Leads. This Green Team are working hard to maximise recyclables and to ensure the University areas are as sustainable as possible. Working as a team in this way means a minimal increase in workload with maximum impact in the labs by ensuring best practice across the entire building and on-going support within all areas.
The Green Team are monitoring the energy efficiency of their lab equipment and are signing up to Green Impact Labs next month when it goes live, with the aim of becoming a certified 'Green Lab'. They are also pleased to be working towards a resolution for food recycling in the form of an on-site wormery and also their own personal project of increasing green office space through the introduction of more office plants from their in-house propagation area.
Why become a certified Green Lab?
Becoming a certified Green Lab shows that you are committed to conducting your research efficiently and responsibly. This will save your lab money and reduce the University's utilities bill whilst helping us meet our emissions pledges. It will also provide opportunity for networking, new experiences wider than the lab, and extra accreditation for your staff or students.
"Research environment – the vitality and sustainability of the research environment, including the contribution to the wider discipline or research base."
Currently, UK Research Funding Bodies don't request information on lab sustainability, but this isn't to say that's not where we're headed. In future, there may be additional grant funding opportunities associated with maintaining a sustainable lab. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 conducted by UK Higher Education Funding Councils already assesses:
With the financial, social and environmental pressures facing research and our scientific communities, it can't hurt to take the lead early on.