August 2016
University of Bristol
After a short hiatus our newsletter is back. A lot has been going on behind the scenes for Sustainable Labs: a new website, we've developed an environmental accreditation scheme, interns, and energy competitions to name just a few. With the support of senior management we're hoping to embed sustainability within our science research; in line with our new University Strategy. We aim to do this by increasing dialogue and opening up opportunuties for staff and students to engage with the sustainability of our estate. We'll be developing a technicians training programme and collaborating on academic projects for students. 

Sustainability have a brand new website

We're pleased to announce that the Sustainability department has a newly redeveloped website. It will give us a better platform to communicate with our staff, students and the public. Unfortunately there are limitations with the software, so please let us know if you're having trouble finding information, or if you have any suggestions for additional material. It's not complete just yet, and we are working on including more resources, guidance and case studies. We now have:
  • a Sustainable Labs Network - this provides a collaborative platform within the University for students and staff to share ideas and resources, and ask questions. You can find out who's currentlyin the network on the website. We will also be holding meetings to discuss how we can further collaborate across the University.
  • a lab assessment questionnaire - although we can come and assess your lab for you, you can also have a go yourself. You will be entered into a prize draw if you fill in our lab assessment before September 30th. 
  • a section to showcase your successes. We know a lot of you have been concerned with the direct, local environmental impact of your research, and have been doing something about it for a long time. We're interested to find out what you've been up to because it can help us coordinate University-wide initiatives and give us new ideas. 
  • some online guidance about  our equipment initiatives: drying cabinets and ultralow temperature (ULT) freezers. We encourage you to get in touch before purchasing new equipment, as we might be able to advise on more sustainable solutions, or offer financial assistance. 

Green Impact Labs

Green Impact is a national environmental accreditation scheme that was developed at our University eight years ago. Over 50 universities now take part, as well as some hospitals. Our recent Green Impact Awards ceremony celebrated not only our own achievements but the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust and the North Bristol NHS Trust. The original criteria was designed for offices so we've now developed a Green Impact Labs framework; inspired by existing assessments such as S-LabsMy Green Lab and Ivy League universities, all who have Green Lab schemes. 

Last year we set up a working group, the Laboratory Efficiency Action Network (LEAN), consisting of 15 UK universities who all have their own Sustainable Labs initiatives. The University of Oxford and Kings College London are launching the new Green Impact Labs this September, after which we will consult together to create an editable, flexible yet standardised framework intended for roll out nationally the following year. 

As the leadng university behind this new framework, it is important that we have buy-in and involvement across our campus; including a range of students, technicians and academics. It's a two way street and will not only help the environment; it will add credence to a student's CV; provide CPD opportunities for technical staff; and put academics in a good position for future grant funding opportunities relating to the environmental impact of research. 

Green Impact Labs is an online platform containing sets of manageable actions to improve not only the sustainability of labs, but compliance and H&S too. We offer lots of help, as well as financial benefits and prizes for those that take part. 

More information about Green Impact Labs and how to sign up can be found on our website


Sustainable Lab Interns

We welcomed Benji Kriss and Harriet Clapham to the Sustainable Labs team a month ago. Benji and Harriet are here until their studies begin again in mid-September. They will both be going into their final years of an MEng Mechanical Engineering (Benji) and a BSc in Chemistry (Harriet), and are helping us launch Green Impact Labs, run energy competitions in Synthetic Chemistry, quantify energy consumption of the ultralow temperature freezers in Oakfield House (ALSPAC) and lots of other bits and bobs. If you need any help greening your lab, or would like an initial lab assessment, Benji and Harriet will be happy to help. 
Check out some US lab programmes

Points to note

  • Fill in the Laboratory Equipment Database if you are interested in getting T-SCAN; the temperature alarm and data logging software. There is a tab on the bottom of the spreadsheet specifically for this purpose. 
  • We are reviewing our liquid nitrogen consumption requirements and potentially our supplier contracts. Please take a moment to add information about your dewars and consumption to the inventory
  • There is an S-Lab conference at Nottingham's new GlaxoSmithKline carbon neutral building for Sustainable Chemistry. 'Labs of the future: excellence in laboratory design, operation and support' showcases the new facility but also discusses technical careers in the HE sector, and innovative teaching in STEM universities. 
Our mailing address is:

Website: S-Labs UoB 

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University of Bristol · Sustainability · 1-9 Old Park Hill · Bristol, Bristol BS8 2BB · United Kingdom

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