Energy and resource consumption in laboratories is high. A laboratory building alone alone consumes on average 3-5 times as much energy and water as an office building. The many large pieces of equipment, which are often used 24/7, further contribute to the high resource consumption and the not insignificant CO2 footprint of laboratories. Furthermore, the continuously increasing consumption of plastic in laboratories is of central importance in view of the waste problem. The situation described above and the fact that more than 80% of universities in Germany operate science laboratories that have a significant impact on the environment suggest that urgent action is needed to change current trends.
Aims of the project
The main objectives of the NACH-LABS project are: to investigate the environmental impact of science laboratories, to develop ways to minimise resource consumption and thus environmental impact, and to make laboratory work more sustainable overall.
The first step is to analyse the most important processes that lead to high energy, water, chemical and material consumption, water, chemicals and materials (especially disposable plastic). Subsequently possibilities for optimisation are worked out and evaluated. Through these measures consumption of resources and to demonstrably reduce the individual CO2 footprint of the laboratories. The procedures and measures developed are to be made available to other be made available to other universities and research institutions.
Finally, sustainable working methods are to be promoted and implemented in the long term by creating non-material incentives and implemented in the long term.
Sven Kannenberg, Caterina Baars
TU Darmstadt, IUTA e. V.