Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.41
Liaison Marianne Martin
Submission Date March 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Colorado Boulder
IN-9: Green Laboratories

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Kathryn Ann Ramirez Aguilar
CU Green Labs Program
"---" 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:

Because laboratories are large consumers of resources and thus present huge opportunities for conservation, a special emphasis has been placed on improving the efficiency of laboratory operations through the creation of the CU Green Labs Program in the summer of 2009. In fiscal year 2017, CU Boulder Facilities Management reported that the major research buildings on campus occupied ~22% of campus square footage but were responsible for ~43% of campus energy use. CU Green Labs works with many of the ~400 research and teaching labs at CU Boulder on a voluntary basis to promote the efficient use of resources by:
Checking fume hood sash height on variable air volume fume hoods monthly and running occasional “shut the sash” contests to remind scientists to lower their sash height for energy savings and safety
Offering financial incentives through our Facilities Management department for scientists to purchase energy and water efficient laboratory equipment.
Providing use of mobile -20 degree C freezer units to labs in order for them to conduct regular sample cleanouts, defrosts, and in the event of freezer failure
Offering space for rent in shared ultra-low temperature freezers for an affordable price to promote more efficient use of these energy-consumptive freezers
Involving individual laboratory members in identifying opportunities for efficiency in their laboratory and promoting efficient behavior among laboratory members
Compelling labs to use lab space, fume hoods, and lab equipment resources efficiently and in a collaborative manner
Developing means to reduce the large flow of lab materials into the waste stream. Thus far, CU Green Labs in collaboration with CU Recycling has been able to provide pipette tip box, white block foam, plastic film, metal solvent drum, and lab brown glass recycling to various areas of campus.
Promoting green chemistry and chemical re-use where feasible
Expanding the solvent recycling program on campus so that labs can reuse purified acetone, ethanol, and methanol. CU Boulder currently has two fractional distillation units used for recycling solvents.
Distributing free waterless condensers (either Findensers or Asynt) to labs doing chemical synthesis. These condensers can be used in the place of single-use tap water condensers.
Raising awareness about the large resource footprint of laboratories
Utilizing outreach posters, contests, events, and face-to-face interactions to communicate ideas and solutions to improve lab sustainability with our Eco Leaders and as many additional lab members as possible

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

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