Developing LEAF – A new tool to make your lab green
LEAF, or the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework, is a new tool which we have developed within UCL, with input from 16 other research institutions around the UK and Ireland. The tool contains criteria around improving the sustainability of scientific labs. Criteria are divided into key categories familiar with those improving laboratory sustainability: Procurement & waste, equipment, sample and chemical management, people, ventilation, and research quality. The tool is openly free for research institutions to pilot, as we really wanted something to be available to all and not limited by funding. We offer support for those piloting, and equally support local facilitators who are enacting the good practice on their own.
A key feature of the tool is that it provides estimated quantification of impacts, both in pounds and carbon. These are crucial outputs, as many labs don’t have context on the environmental impacts of their work. We’re hoping that in assembling such a fantastic pilot group, we can reach a critical mass of participants to help drive systemic change. This work is being followed by funding bodies such as the AMRC, SFC, and Research England. We’re hoping that LEAF can provide baselines and targets for sustainability within science, and thus drive wider improvements.
King’s College London
University of Swansea
The Crick Institute
University of Brighton
Manchester Metropolitan University
The University of Manchester
The University of Edinburgh
Queen Mary University London
University of Cork
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
University of Glasgow