EH&S Safety News

Green Lab Certification
by Caileigh Shoot, Green Laboratory Certification Coordinator

The recently launched University of Washington Green Laboratory Certification Program encourages staff, faculty, and students to make their laboratories more sustainable by following a set of best practices.

Any member of a campus department can participate in an informal audit process of laboratory practices. The short online survey allows you to see what steps your laboratory is already taking to be green and areas where your laboratory can improve.

Qualifying laboratories are recognized at different levels of certification based on the criteria they meet. The certification is based on laboratory practices that involve action areas, such as energy usage, communication and education, waste, chemical usage, water usage, work-related travel, and more.
 
The Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability Office initiated the Green Laboratory Certification Program to minimize the environmental impact of laboratories across the UW. The Green Laboratory Certification Committee, formed in fall 2012, developed the certification criteria, and created resources to assist laboratories. A student intern led the committee, which included members with varied expertise in laboratory operations, Environmental Health and Safety, UW Recycling, and UW Purchasing. The Green Laboratory Certification Program, launched in spring 2013, is helping the University achieve the conservation goals outlined in UW’s Climate Action Plan.

The Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability Office also worked with the Program on the Environment to offer ENVIR 480, a hands-on course focused on green laboratories. The student projects for the class were later integrated into the certification program, including a shopping list of environmentally friendly laboratory products, a newsletter, and a logo.

Thus far, eight laboratories from UW Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma have been certified as green laboratories. To participate in the Green Laboratory Certification program, select a representative from your UW laboratory as the designated point of contact, and complete the online application form. If your lab is interested in making sustainability improvements before applying, see the Green Laboratory Certification Resources page for help with implementing most of the criteria or contact the Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability office to schedule a consultation: oess@uw.edu or 206-616-9471.

More information:

Green Laboratory Certification

UW Climate Action Plan

 

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