The UCSC Green Labs Program strives to promote and maintain on-campus lab sustainability by offering resources to reduce waste, water, and energy usage and making changes in dated lab behavior. The program consists of the Green Labs committee which consists of sustainability driven undergraduates in collaboration with many stakeholders such as Powersave, Environmental Health & Safety, MyGreenLabs, and coordination with other Sustainability Office programs. Through our committee we are able to offer a Green Lab Certification program which works directly with on campus labs to maintain and support sustainable research. The Green Labs team also works to promote sustainability in our labs by hosting multiple events and programs that serve as resources for our labs to utilize.
-Certifying more labs and continuing to offer support and resources. By getting more labs involved we are able to set a precedent on campus to push for sustainability in our research.
-Overall reducing our labs’ waste, water, and energy usage through providing funds for equipment upgrades/retrofits, offering more signage, and following up with our labs to give support where needed.
-Host a series of events that provide education and outreach on campus about pursuing more sustainable options in the research field. Beginning with bringing speakers on campus to lecture on green chemistry to hosting a lab equipment fair to offer more sustainable options to our labs.
Metrics for Success:
Completion of 12 lab walkthroughs and certifications. Which then funding and resources are awarded to these labs to improve and promote sustainability in their research. Successfully hosting multiple events that provide education and outreach about current sustainable practices in the research field. Piloting new lab equipment by recording & analyzing data that provides new insight on current energy usage trends. Using this data we are able to recommend alternatives to their energy consuming equipment. An improved name recognition of Green Labs on campus. The accomplishment of these items measure the success of the Green Labs Program.
The Green Labs Team established a framework to evaluate and improve UCSC labs. Part of the program involved the overall certification of 10 labs - this goal was completed with great enthusiasm and results! The Green labs team followed up with labs on recommendations that lead to positive influence on purchasing and lab behavior change. The program has also made great strides in reducing energy in multiple areas. One of these areas are fume hoods, these are ventilation devices that are used to limit the amount of toxins and chemicals people are exposed to. Unfortunately these devices keep a constant flow of air and use the amount of energy per year equal to 3 to 5 houses. One way the Green Labs Team helped to reduce this energy consumption was to place stickers on all fume hood on campus to remind the labs to keep them shut when not in use causing a huge reduction in airflow and energy. In the past year the Green Labs team was also able to receive funding and offer it to our certified labs to incentivize equipment upgrades to more energy efficient pieces. Multiple labs have taken advantage of this resource and have more sustainable and energy efficient operating equipment. With the momentum of the Green Labs team, the program was able to host multiple events such as a lab vendor fair which displayed to the campus the many suitable sustainable options that can replace outdated energy consuming lab equipment.