The significance of sustainability has increased in recent times, but there remain certain areas that require attention in terms of initiating measures towards implementing sustainability. In particular, the domain of laboratory sustainability is one area that is often overlooked.
The utilisation of laboratories incurs energy and resource consumption that is three to five times higher than that of standard office spaces. Moreover, the constant operation of equipment and the extensive consumption of disposable plastics, such as gloves, have considerable environmental impacts. With thousands of universities worldwide operating laboratory facilities, it is imperative that action is taken to mitigate the negative environmental impacts of their operations. The exchange of information and best practices and the promotion of collaborative efforts can expedite the implementation of such changes.
Against this background, the project 'Sustainable Laboratories' (NACH-LABS), which is funded by the German Environmental Foundation (DBU) and is a joint effort of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, the Technical University of Darmstadt, and IUTA e.V., supported by the International Climate Change Information and Research Programme (ICCIRP), the European School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR), the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme and the UK Consortium for Sustainability Research (UK-CSR), are organising the international symposium Green Labs: Reducing the Impacts of University Laboratories on the Environment.
It will be held in Hamburg, Germany, on 27–28 June 2024.