Green Labs at SFU

As a goal laid out in the SFU Sustainability Strategic Plan, “SFU supports and encourages sustainable research practices at SFU” The involvement of educators and researchers in the assessment of potential sustainability opportunities is an integral part of achieving and sharing best laboratory practices regarding:

  • Lab energy efficiency
  • Lab water conservation
  • Lab material purchasing & recycling
  • Green chemistry
  • Waste reduction & diversion

The ultimate goal of the Green Labs Program is to engage lab occupants to make minor changes in behaviour that lead to lasting changes in sustainable lab practices. It is also used to serve as a bridge between lab occupants and facilities staff in addressing building infrastructure and sustainability issues.

Why is this important?

  • A green lab saves money. In the pilot year of the Green Labs program in SSB, savings totaled $16,000! Savings will continue to grow now as science labs on all three SFU campuses are now welcome to join the program by certifying their lab as a Green Lab.
  • A green lab reduces our carbon footprint. The less energy used in the labs, the fewer carbon emissions SFU emits into the atmosphere. Green Labs is projected to save roughly 47 tonnes of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere per year! That’s the same as removing ten passenger vehicles from the road per year!

Objectives of the Green Labs program

  • Certifying science labs as Green Labs on all three campuses and in every science building.
  • Creating Energy Committees for each building comprised of students, faculty, and staff from the building, as well as representatives from Facilities Services and SFU Sustainability.
  • Providing an easy communication channel between the Sustainability Office staff, Facilities Services staff, and lab occupants.
  • Ensuring energy conservation is part of the orientation process for new science students, instructors, and lab technicians.
  • Where appropriate, review and revise employee job descriptions and standard operating procedures to include energy management (e.g., cleaning staff, security staff, purchasing RFPs, etc.).
  • Developing communication materials for energy conservation training and communication.
  • Identifying leaders in each building and providing them with tools to assist them in spreading energy saving efforts throughout the building.

Green Labs Guide

For tips on sustainable practices and ways that you can help save energy in science labs at SFU, see our full-length Green Labs Guide

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