Going Green and Saving Green: Creating a More Eco-friendly Lab

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Sueli's picture
Going Green and Saving Green: Creating a More Eco-friendly Lab

February 13, 2008
2:00-3:30 pm Eastern (U.S.) time

What kind of an impact could your laboratory make if you changed a few simple policies to incorporate green practices?

During this audioconference, you will learn from an expert on green technologies what your lab can do today to help save the environment. You'll hear also hear a lab safety manager describe how his institution made the five-year journey from being cited by the EPA to instituting award-winning innovations for managing and disposing of hazardous laboratory materialsand saved $65,000 in the process. A representative from one of the nation's largest reference labs will also describe how implementing some relatively simple policies has resulted in a significant reduction of waste and the use of far fewer chemicals.

Attend this audioconference and know:

* Actions you can take today to make your lab more environmentally friendly
* How much you can potentially save by adopting certain green practices
* New, more eco-friendly ways to dispose of hazardous waste from your laboratory
* How to incorporate green technologies into laboratory building or renovation projects
* How to streamline your lab to make it more energy efficient

The Experts:

* Janet Brown, Partner Program Manager, Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, Arlington , VA
* David P. Jackson, Senior Vice President, Strategic Services, ARUP Laboratories, Salt Lake City , UT
* Timothy A. Johnson, CT/SLS (ASCP) , Laboratory Safety Manager, Allina Hospitals & Clinics, Minneapolis, MN

Target Audience

Laboratory administrators, directors and managers; hospital administrators, and all others who are involved in managing or improving laboratory processes.

Invite your hospital administrator and safety officers to join you! Presenters will provide information targeted to both audiences.

For more information, go to the meeting Web site.

Tony Rook
Tony Rook's picture
A recent article in Science

A recent article in Science talks about Allen Doyle's efforts to create Green Laboratories...

This Man Wants to Green Your Lab

Science 5 October 2007:
Vol. 318. no. 5847, pp. 39 - 41
DOI: 10.1126/science.318.5847.39

Tony Rook
Tony Rook's picture
Here is a link to how Harvard

Here is a link to how Harvard is going green...

Harvard Green Campus Initiative

And how they are green-ing their labs...

Green Labs

As part of FAS efforts to reduce its environmental impacts, and its greenhouse gas emissions in particular, CCB has teamed with the FAS Campus Energy Reduction Program* to start a comprehensive program to green the practices in our labs.

What You Can Do

The greening of our department relies both on infrastructural changes and on individual behaviors. Click on the links below for information on green measures that you can easily implement in your lab.

Donate Old Lab Equipment
Energy Conservation
Green Chemicals
Green Lab Equipment
Water Conservation

Labs consume far more energy than other buildings per square foot. For instance, on Harvard's Cambridge campus labs make up approximately 25% of total building square footage but are responsible for 50% of the utility usage. The ten most energy-intensive FAS buildings are all laboratories, although not all of them belong to CCB.

One of the reasons labs are so energy intensive is that they are typically supplied with 4 - 15 air changes of outside air per hour. This outdoor air must be heated or cooled (conditioned) to levels acceptable to a lab's occupants, which in the Boston climate takes a significant amount of energy. In addition to having special heating and cooling needs, labs are full of equipment that require a great deal of electricity to function.
Building-Scale Changes

Individual behavioral changes are important, as the fume hood contest results show, and structural changes are critical as well. Many projects are underway in CCB right now to improve energy efficiency. They include:

* Putting occupancy sensors on lights;
* Setting back building temperatures and ventilation rates
slightly at night;
* Replacing "energy hog" light bulbs with efficient ones;
* Converting constant volume fume hoods to variable air
volume hoods.

Tony Rook
Tony Rook's picture
And here is an article about

And here is an article about how green laboratories save both time and money...

Green laboratories save money, time. (environment-friendly laboratories)

Laboratory directors increasingly have a new requirement for their research facilities: They must be "green."

Being "green," of course, means being environmentally savvy. But by following this edict, labs are also being made safer, more energy efficient, and more accessible to the handicapped.

Opening a "green lab" is actually in the best interests of the research community. By saving money, conserving energy, and preventing injury, these labs have a longer useful life.

Research managers seeking to go green would be wise to keep 10 principles in ...

Click on the link above to read the rest of the article.

Tony Rook
Tony Rook's picture
And here is a link (a bit

And here is a link (a bit dated, but none-the-less relevant) to an MIT student design project has won a People, Prosperity and Planet Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

'Green' labs project wins EPA prize
June 8, 2005

An MIT student design project has won a People, Prosperity and Planet Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More than 400 students representing 65 teams from more than 50 schools participated in the first "P3" competition, which was held at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on May 16 and 17.

To win the P3, a project had to demonstrate how it would advance sustainability in the developed or developing world. There were seven winners this year.

MIT's project, titled "Encouraging Toxic Use Reduction (TUR) in Academic Laboratories," led by Professor Jeffrey Steinfeld of the chemistry department and Jamie Lewis Keith of the Environmental Programs Office, received an EPA grant of $30,000.

MIT's project combined a survey of the laboratory culture surrounding chemical purchasing, use, sharing and disposal (overseen by anthropology Professor Susan Silbey), with an investigation of chemical waste generation and management at the Institute. The project yielded a methodology for selecting more benign and environmentally preferable substitutes ("green chemistry"). The project's primary goal is the development of educational tools, including a chemical alternatives purchasing interface, which researchers and students can use to make more sustainable chemical selections.

"The promise of green chemistry seems to already be recognized by industry, which many argue can afford to make these types of changes as opposed to a small academic laboratory," states chemistry major Jacqueline Tio '06, who, in tandem with fellow major Kendra Bussey '05, developed much of the project content. But I am convinced, even on a small scale, incorporating green chemistry upstream in batch reactions would greatly help those downstream fine-tuning a reaction on larger scales.

"If small labs start making more chemically sustainable choices, it will at some point in time become affordable and, ultimately, cost effective for academic laboratories in general."

Jamie Lewis Keith, managing director for environmental programs and risk management, and senior counsel said, "The Environmental Programs Office is delighted that we were able to support Professor Steinfeld and his students in this important green chemistry work, which we plan to implement on campus. We are deeply appreciative of the EPA's recognition and continuing support for this innovative and practical project."

For more information on MIT's winning project, visit http://web.mit.edu/environment/academic/green_chemicals.html. For more information about green chemistry at MIT, e-mail eval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%67%72%65%65%6e%63%68%65%6d%40%4d%49%54%2e%65%64%75%22%3e%67%72%65%65%6e%63%68%65%6d%40%4d%49%54%2e%65%64%75%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b')).

Tony Rook
Tony Rook's picture
And here is an online story

And here is an online story from 2002 about rating green laboratories...

Rating "Green" LaboratoriesLabs21 Environmental Performance Criteria

Laboratory facilities present a unique challenge for energy efficient and sustainable design, with their inherent complexity of systems, health, and safety requirements, long-term flexibility and adaptability needs, energy use intensity, and environmental impacts. The typical laboratory is about three to five times as energy intensive as a typical office building and costs about three times as much per unit area. Any efforts to reduce energy use and environmental impact are heavily impacted by special functional and health and safety requirements, which need to be considered in the design and operation of laboratories.

The Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21) Program addresses these issues, and is aimed at improving environmental performance of public and private laboratory buildings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are the lead sponsors of this effort. EETD's Applications Team plays a major role in the Labs21 program, in the development of design tools, energy efficient fume hoods, lab design courses, and in providing technical assistance to public and private sector laboratory projects.