Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Sustainable Laboratories

We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of all our activities. In 2017/18 laboratory activities were the fourth biggest carbon impact of the University’s scope 3 emissions. In addition, laboratories typically consume 3-10 times more energy per square metre than typical academic spaces.

LEAF (Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework)

The University participates in the LEAF initiative, designed by UCL that facilitates and drives improvements in laboratory efficiency. Laboratory users work through set of criteria to achieve either a bronze, silver of gold award depending on how many actions they complete.

The criteria relate to aspects such as:

  • Research quality
  • Equipment
  • Procurement
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Waste
  • Engagement and training

A key feature of LEAF is that it allows participants to estimate the impact of changes in financial and carbon terms with user-friendly calculators.

There are currently (2021/22) eight participating labs with a number of interested teams. Participating labs are encouraged to complete submissions by April 2022, with auditing due to take place in May and awards announced in June.

LEAF is open to both staff and students working in laboratories, including research or teaching facilities. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Katherine Mayfield or Lesley Ward.