Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.54
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
IN-9: Green Laboratories

Status Score Responsible Party
0.50 / 0.50 Trina Innes
Chief Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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 green laboratory program, including the specific initiatives selected above:


The Green Spaces certification program helps research and teaching labs adopt sustainable practices and earn recognition for their efforts. Any research, field or teaching lab at the University of Alberta can be Green Spaces certified by demonstrating best practices for environmental health and safety. A green lab is a safe lab. Everyone working in the lab commits to reducing waste, conserving energy and water and maintaining a safe space. Actions include recycling, turning off unused equipment and finding alternatives to hazardous chemicals. These ideas and others are easily perused in the application and lab users are encouraged to take them on before certification. Successful labs receive a certificate to publicly recognize their bronze, silver or gold rating.


The University of Alberta's Green Labs initiative supports the research community in building healthy, safe and environmentally-friendly teaching and research labs. Elements of the program are offered in collaboration with units involved in Risk Management and Energy Management and Sustainable Operations. Laboratories involve entire communities of people engaged in research and learning. Activities often generate waste and consume significant resources. With Green Labs, it's easier for researchers to maintain environmentally-responsible and healthy laboratory workspaces. The program provides offerings in five focus areas:
- Community Building
- Providing Tools to Build Capacity
- Feasibility Studies
- Programming
- Strategic Leadership

Below are highlights of some activities related to the specific initiatives indicated above:

Energy conservation and efficiency
- Delivered a four week Shut the Sash campaign in 22 fume hoods in Katz in October 2016. As a result, average fume hood sash height decreased by 52% over baseline and an estimated 1,333 kWh/year and 937 kg CO2e/year were saved.
- Participated in North American Laboratory Freezer Challenge.
- Launched an ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer rebate in September 2017 offering 3 streams of funding to help offset the costs for labs purchasing energy-efficient ULT.

Water conservation and efficiency
- Green Spaces Certification program includes several actions to promote water conservation including reporting of leaks and runny taps, running glassware washer only when it is full, minimizing use of tap water for cooling, and installing timers on devices using water.

Chemical use and disposal
- Installed a solvent recycling system for acetone pilot in undergraduate organic chemistry teaching labs.
- A Model Green Lab installed alternative aspirators that use compressed air to function which will save the lab up to 16,000 litres of water every single day.

Materials management
- The Green Spaces Certification program invites users to: assess and address gaps in recycling infrastructure, recycle glass that is not contaminated with chemicals or biological hazards, flatten and reuse cardboard, support battery collection, and participation in electronics recycling.
- Engaged labs in two Freecycle Your Labware events.

Training for lab users on sustainable practices
- The Green Spaces Certification program requires lab members to be informed about and engaged on safe and sustainable practices in the lab.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.