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2016 ISCN Awards: Innovative Collaboration


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University of Edinburgh: Sustainable Laboratories

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2016 ISCN Awards: Innovative Collaboration

  1. 1. Sustainable laboratories Sharing best practice through peer learning
  2. 2. University overview • 3 academic colleges containing 20 academic schools • 35,255 students in 2015 • £819 million total revenue in 2015 • 500+ buildings • 83% of research activity classified as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
  3. 3. The challenges Meeting climate targets and delivering world class facilities… Where we are…
  4. 4. Addressing rising carbon emissions… Launch of the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability in 2013 to catalyse action on campus.
  5. 5. Social responsibility and sustainability timeline Energy management strategy Energy and sustainability office established Sustainability policy published Launch of combined heat and power project Social responsibility and sustainability strategy published Department for SRS launched Joined international sustainable campus network 1990 2000 2010 2014
  6. 6. Working areas
  7. 7. Sustainability awards Addressing rising carbon emissions by driving positive change in departments through the efforts of staff and students.
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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.
  10. 10. Process • 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.
  11. 11. Range of topics covered by the lab awards
  12. 12. Benefits • 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.
  13. 13. Benefits continued… • 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)
  14. 14. Small Labs Equipment Fund • Launched in 2015/16 • Criteria • 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, waterless hand-wash
  15. 15. Participants feedback “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, Easter Bush
  16. 16. 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).
  17. 17. Future objectives • 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.
  18. 18. Questions?