We’re working with others on all of these areas, and leading on only a few – most importantly on the University’s Climate Strategy.
Labs work applies to the green, pink, red and blue areas mainly.
Praise from Principal and MSP gives us a greater status and better platform from which to undertake our future work.
2016 ISCN Awards: Innovative Collaboration
Sharing best practice through peer learning
• 3 academic colleges containing 20 academic
• 35,255 students in 2015
• £819 million total revenue in 2015
• 500+ buildings
• 83% of research activity classified as ‘world
leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
Meeting climate targets and delivering world class facilities…
Where we are…
Addressing rising carbon emissions…
Launch of the Department for Social Responsibility and
Sustainability in 2013 to catalyse action on campus.
Social responsibility and sustainability
published Launch of
1990 2000 2010 2014
Addressing rising carbon
emissions by driving positive
change in departments through
the efforts of staff and students.
Edinburgh sustainability lab awards
• 12 departments took part in 2015.
• Positive feedback from participants about
additional motivation, ideas, and recognition Most
substantial benefit is the peer auditing.
• Green Gown Award 2015 for peer-auditing.
• Guardian University Awards 2016 Runner Up for
peer-auditing in sustainability category.Lab Awards praised by:
Sir Tim O’Shea Principal of University of Edinburgh,
Angela Constance MSP - Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning
Overview of sustainability lab awards
• Recognise the specialist nature of research facilities by offering a
tailored version of the awards specifically for labs.
• Using the internationally respected S-labs assessment framework.
• Introduced in 2012.
• Participating labs can achieve bronze, silver or gold awards.
• Lab managers and researchers visit and audit participating labs.
• Audits are facilitated by the Programmes Coordinator – Laboratories.
• Participants complete a range of criteria throughout the academic year.
• Site visits by volunteer auditors provide an opportunity to study working
practices of other labs in depth and meet with staff, with a view to
learning from any best practice identified through site visits.
• Roundtable of auditors to determine fair benchmarking.
• The audits have led to the identification of a range of energy efficiency
measures which could achieve £200,000 worth of savings.
• Establishment of the Sustainable Laboratories Steering Group to
provide a strategic approach to lab management at the University.
• Encouraged collaborative working across departments by breaking
down silos – rare opportunity for technical staff to visit other labs.
• Developed network of engaged lab users and managers.
• An evidence base of good practice has been developed with input from
lab users, and shared on the SRS website
• Labs Workshops discuss best practice in different topics quarterly
• Working within various university groups to promote the professional
development of laboratory technical staff, key to SRS engagement.
• A small fund of £5,000 was utilised to incentivise and discount the
replacement of old inefficient equipment with new (12 applications)
Small Labs Equipment Fund
• Launched in 2015/16
• match funded, reasonable payback period,
demonstrable environmental benefit, retire old
equipment or upgrade new purchases
• Judging panel = Sustainability and Procurement
• 12 Applications:
• Freezers, drying ovens, incubators, LED lamps, gel
doc systems, heater blocks, waterless condensers,
“This approach can allow the University to develop a
common lab sustainability goal that can be applied
throughout all labs within the University.”
Dawn Windsor, Deputy Campus Facilities Officer,
A highly replicable model…
• Framework is readily available and requires a group of engaged lab
mangers or users (scalable from a small lab to a whole campus).
• Relevance for all research intensive universities given the energy and
resource intensity of lab spaces.
• Non university labs, such as those of the pharmaceutical industry or
government laboratories, could equally well benefit from the approach.
• Peer audit experience has been shared with colleagues through
webinars and talks (via NUS, EAUC and S LAB).
• Deliver projects which reduce environmental and financial costs.
• Embed sustainability within the process of designing new labs.
• Increase knowledge and awareness of sustainability among lab users.
• Develop further evidence and metrics to measure impacts.
• Expand and increase engagement and collaboration.