As part of UCCS’ commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and foster a culture of sustainability on campus, the Office of Sustainability has developed the Green Lab program to evaluate and promote sustainable behavior and efficiency within campus laboratories.
Labs constitute a large portion of the energy used on campus and as such, there are many opportunities to reduce GHG emissions and utility expenses. Furthermore, water conservation, management of chemicals, equipment purchasing, transportation practices, zero waste initiatives and more can all be pursued to achieve a greener campus.
In 2015, the Office of Sustainability collaborated with UCCS Environmental Health and Safety to develop the Green Lab Program. During our first year of operation, the Green Lab program evaluated over 28 campus laboratory spaces. This preliminary evaluation of our Green Lab program found that University laboratory spaces had a wide diversity of energy and water use. The program continues to develop to meet the specific needs of our campus laboratory spaces.
The Green Lab program was developed using information from other Green Lab programs across the country. Sources for the development of our program have been taken from a broad spectrum of academic journals as well as other programs at CU Boulder, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Princeton University, MIT, and other institutions of higher education. Additionally, the Labs 21 program provided by the International Institute of Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) has been a significant resource during the development of our program.
Basic Ways to Improve Your Lab:
- Turn off equipment/lights when not in use
- Utilize power strips
- Increase the temperatures on deep freezers
- Share refrigerators/freezers
The Green Labs program has been highly successful on campus for the three years that it has been active. Over 50 different labs have been surveyed, and these have identified many opportunities to promote sustainability within the labs at UCCS.
For more information about the Green Lab program please contact us at Conserve@uccs.edu.