The University of Alberta's Green Labs program supports our research community in building healthy, safe and green teaching and research labs.
Laboratories are unique environments that involve entire communities of people engaging in important research and learning. These activities often generate waste and consume significant resources. With Green Labs, it's easier for researchers to maintain environmentally-responsible and healthy laboratory workspaces.
Designed using a community needs assessment, this program is place-based and rooted in our unique interests and capacities.
Green Labs is creating communities that enable and support safe and green labs. This includes building relationships with stakeholders from all areas of the university that influence labs, forming a Green Labs Reference Team comprised of key decision makers, as well as starting the Green Labs Leaders Network comprising change agents working in labs across the university.
Providing Tools to Build Capacity
Lab users can green their labs with a growing range of UAlberta-specific tools, including Green Spaces certification for labs and the Green Labs Companion Document. In the future, a model green lab will be established to demonstrate best practices.
Potential projects to green university labs can by supported with place-based feasibility studies using community needs assessment.
For example, Dr. Dennis Hall upgraded his solvent stills with safer solvent purification systems in 2015. A feasibility study confirmed the business, safety and sustainability case for an application to the Sustainability Enhancement Fund. This measure will now save 2.5 million litres of water a year.
Initiatives promoting safe and green lab practices include Shut the Sash and the Green Labs Fund.
Sharing, collaborating and demonstrating leadership in greening labs with local, national and international communities.
Join the Green Labs Leaders Network
Be part of a growing community, access resources and gain professional development opportunities.
Why Green Labs?
Research activities are resource intensive compared to the needs of traditional classrooms. At the University of Alberta, buildings with labs currently use 43 per cent more energy than others. Some of this impact can be mitigated by greening the university's labs.