3. Present data-driven findings to senior leadership indicating the potential for saving, and garner their support.
Our findings were presented to the Senior Operations Team at FAS, and I subsequently requested additional funds to kick off a new Shut the Sash Competition between 14 additional laboratories. Senior management approved, and as of September 2015 Harvard has 33 labs participating in fume hood competitions, up from 19 just a year ago. While these new labs are less fume-hood-intensive as those in CCB, savings can still be found. Estimates suggest this new competition should save an additional $50,000-$73,000, which pushes Harvard's annual savings to around $300,000 per year between both competitions. Considering the operational budget of $4,500 per year for running each competition, this should be a huge success for FAS and the Office for Sustainability. FAS opted to fund a one-year pilot of this competition, and a follow up study is planned for the fall of 2016 to assess the efficacy of the expansion.
Many scientific facilities are directing their scientists to utilize lab supplier recycling programs to help meet their sustainablility goals. The following list, with links, is meant to be a quick reference. It may be incomplete. Please send us the name of any other recycling program that you know of, and we will update this list.
A great advance in DNA synthesis efficiency has just been reported in Nature Biotechnology, that also eliminates solvent hazardous waste requirement.
Scientists from CU Boulder's Biochemistry Department are now saving over $250,000 yearly from their research budgets, by using a shared cell culture facility, instead of individual lab cell culture spaces. It's a spectacular result and it makes sense!
View a list of four options for used laboratory equipment....Plus get inspired by George Washington Carver, an American botanist and early environmentalist. His epitaph reads "He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world".
Not only is going green good for the environment, but it's also good for science funding. This CU Boulder case study shows that shared equipment makes cell culture work more convenient, economical and environmentally friendly.
As more scientific researchers are becoming aware of the economic, environmental and safety benefits of green procurement, reliable systems are needed to make so called "green procurement" easy to accomplish.
It is well known that putting sustainability upfront is the key to its success in laboratories, and all work places. That's just why the U.S. General Services Administration (or GSA) provides a comprehensive online resource for green purchasing by federal agencies, called the GPC - Green Procurement Compilation.
This Thursday March 1st, our Editor Nicole Kelesoglu will be presenting a webinar for an event series by the University of Virginia Green Lab Program. This webinar will cover ways to reduce laboratory waste and highlight how lab minimalism can give you a competitive advantage for research grant funding.
Awareness of micropipette tip box recycling has been spreading among U.S. labs and tip system manufacturers. Did you know that after taking into account your local conditions, it is also possible to recycle pipette tips?
Biologists must prioritize getting reliable results when purchasing chemicals, reagents, plastic ware, glassware and lab equipment. However, this need should be balanced with environmental and human health concerns.