Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 92.73
Liaison Emmanuelle Jodoin
Submission Date Oct. 24, 2022

STARS v2.2

Université de Sherbrooke
IN-19: Green Laboratory Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Chantal Couture
Director General
Building Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have or participate in a green laboratory program?:

Does the institution’s green laboratory program address the following?:
Yes or No
Energy conservation and efficiency, e.g., fume hood ("shut the sash") and freezer maintenance programs Yes
Water conservation and efficiency Yes
Chemical use and disposal Yes
Materials management, e.g., green purchasing guidelines and recycling and reuse programs Yes
Training for lab users on sustainable practices Yes

A brief description of the institution's green laboratory program:

The Université de Sherbrooke has put in place a green laboratory program through its Guide d’écoresponsabilité en recherche [EN: Eco-Responsibility Guide for Research] to ensure the implementation of good sustainable practices in the university laboratories. Based on the eco-responsible management practices established at the Université de Sherbrooke and in order to meet several objectives of the Plan de développement durable [EN: Sustainable Development Plan] 2018-2022, the Eco-Responsibility Guide for Research aims to mobilize and provide tools to anyone involved in research activities, whether in the context of their studies or their work.

The Université de Sherbrooke’s commitment to contribute to a better world on the social, environmental, and economic levels is as much of its research, teaching, innovation, and social commitment missions as it is about its management. The concept of eco-responsibility refers to activities and behaviours that are respectful of the physical, social, and economic environment in the long term. The goal of this program is to ensure that eco-responsibility practices in research become widespread, both within and outside the Université de Sherbrooke.

The actions proposed are grouped under different themes:
• Energy conservation and efficiency
• Water conservation and efficiency
• Chemical use and disposal
• Materials management
• Training events for lab users on sustainable practices

Regarding energy-related actions, the guide tackles energy waste limitations by turning off electronic equipment and fume hoods when not in use, maintaining and checking equipment annually, using and keeping refrigerators full for better efficiency instead of using incubators and centrifuges, and using search engines that compensate for the GHGs emitted by them.

It is also encouraged to reduce water waste and to follow good cleaning practices for laboratory equipment. For example, it is advised to use dishwashers and autoclaves only when they are full and to use reverse osmosis rather than distillation to demineralize water. The use of water in cooling laboratory fixtures must also be limited. Rinsing/filling techniques must be more environmentally friendly: rinse 3 times rather than constantly let water run, use a water recirculation loop in cold water baths, soak equipment in water instead of using chemicals for rinsing, use raw aqueduct water for equipment not requiring distilled osmosis water, etc.

The guide discusses the management of residual materials, whether they are common or come directly from the laboratories. In laboratories, it is recommended to use reusable materials rather than single-use materials (glassware, reusable plastic tubes, aluminum on autoclaved glassware, coolers, etc.). Specialized containers are made available for the recovery of hazardous materials and other chemical products, and their closure is watertight. Awareness measures are also in place through a protocol to inform on the types of laboratory materials that are considered recyclable and on the methods of collecting hazardous materials. Concerning the management of common residual materials, reduction at the source is preferred by limiting printing, by promoting refillable material, and by anticipating the needs upstream. Awareness is also raised in order to correctly sort the different types of waste into the appropriate containers.

Regarding sustainable practices, a section of the guide deals with responsible procurement by identifying specific practices to implement. Some of these practices are the proper evaluation of the needs of laboratories before any purchase, the encouragement of the equipment sharing between laboratories, the update of an inventory of laboratory products, and the certainty of good sustainable development practices with suppliers.

Finally, for each theme, the guide also proposes resources available on the university website such as training, policies, programs, and plans of action to better inform employees and students about their work environment and the right actions to take.

Website URL where information about the green laboratory program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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