Green Laboratory Certification
- What is the Green Laboratory Certification Program?
- What are the levels of Certification?
- How is a Laboratory scored for Certification?
- How does a Laboratory apply for Certification?
- Why is this program important?
- How was the program developed?
- Who is Certified & Where?
The Green Laboratory Certification Program at the University of Washington encourages staff, faculty, and students to help make their Laboratory or workplace at UW sustainable. Any member from campus departments can participate in an informal audit process about their laboratory practices. The short online survey allows the laboratory to see what steps their laboratory is already taking to be green, and areas where their laboratory can improve. Qualifying laboratories will be recognized at different levels of certification based on the criteria they meet.
The certification is based on laboratory practices that involve action areas, such as Energy Usage, Communication, Waste, Chemical Usage, Water Usage, Work-related travel, and more.
The levels of certification are Bronze (55%), Silver (70%), and Gold (85%). These levels are determined by the percentage of points that the laboratory achieves over the total points the laboratory is capable of achieving. For example, not every laboratory has a fume hood in their building, so instead of being penalized, the total number of points possible will be adjusted accordingly.
The evaluation has 8 categories and adheres to a point system, with 1-3 points assigned to various office attributes or behaviors and with opportunities for bonus points for extra effort. Based on the feasible actions for each laboratory, certification is awarded according to the following qualifications:
The laboratory must first score 10% or greater in every category, and then achieve an overall percentage of the following for each level:
Bronze - 55-69%
Silver - 70-84%
Gold - 85% +
To participate in the Green Laboratory Certification program, a representative from the applying UW Laboratory should be selected as the designated point of contact, and should complete the online application form. The questions are primarily yes or no, and answers may be saved and returned to later. A printable version of the criteria is available for those who would like to collaborate with other laboratory members in answering the questions. If your lab is interested in making sustainability improvements before applying, we also offer a resource page for the Green Laboratory Certification Program to help with implementation of most of the criteria.
The Green Laboratory Certification Program was initiated by the Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability office in an effort to minimize the environmental impact of laboratories across the University of Washington. The Green Laboratory Certification Committee formed in Fall 2012 to develop the certification criteria and create resources to assist laboratories in enhancing their green efforts. The Committee was led by a student intern and included members with varied expertise in laboratory operations, environmental health and safety, recycling, purchasing, and supplies. The Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability office also worked with the Program on the Environment to offer ENVIR 480, a hands-on course focused on green laboratories. The student projects for the class were later integrated into the Certification Program, including a shopping list of environmentally friendly laboratory products, a newsletter, a logo and more. The Green Laboratory Certification Program was launched in Spring 2013, helping the University achieve conservation goals outlined in UW’s Climate Action Plan.
- Green Laboratory Certification Committee:
- Caileigh Shoot, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability – Certification Program Coordinator
- Aubrey Batchelor, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability – Project Manager
- Jennifer Perkins, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability
- Doug Gallucci, Environmental Health & Safety
- John Kelly, Environmental Health & Safety
- Shelly Carpenter, Oceanography
- Christine Aker, Health Sciences
- Christy Cherrier, UW Bothell
- Emily Newcomer, UW Recycling
- Claudia Christensen, UW Purchasing
- Jill Tepe-Stoddard, Mt. Baker Bio
ESS Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory
Johnson Hall, Laboratory of ~10 members
- Light sensors that turn off lights when natural light is bright enough
- In-lab battery recycling program
- Use closed-loop water cooling systems
- Use very small font for data archives that require hard copy
- Have adopted the "Leave No Trace" ethics and principles (www.lnt.org) for all field work
UW Bothell Chemistry Laboratory
CC1 UW Bothell, Laboratory of ~ 325 members
-Automated Fume Hood sashes
Deming Biological Oceanography Lab
Marine Science Building, Laboratory of ~6 members
- Use of vacuum pumps rather than aspirators to save water
- Experimenting with LED lights in grow rooms via grant from CSF
- Plans to add building-wide aerators via grant from CSF
- Though UW does not recycle aluminum foil, our lab saves all clean foil for recycling in residential streams
UW Bothell Instructional Biology Lab
UWBB UW Bothell, Laboratory of ~192 members
The Climate Action Plan calls for the establishment of a departmental level reporting tool (Strategy 2.3.1) and for the availability of general guidelines for UW faculty, staff and students (Strategy 7.4.2), both of which the Green Laboratory Certification program supports. In addition to aligning with these strategies, the impact of the program's criteria help reduce carbon emissions and conserve water and energy resources.