Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Natalie Walker
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Pennsylvania
IN-9: Green Laboratories

Status Score Responsible Party
0.50 / 0.50 Madeline Schuh
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities and Real Estate Services
"---" 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 No

A brief description of the green laboratory program, including the specific initiatives selected above:

Penn's Green Labs Guide was created by the Sustainability Office, in collaboration with Penn's Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety and Sustainability Coordinators from the School of Arts and Sciences, the Perelman School of Medicine, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the School of Veterinary Medicine. The Guide provides overall guidelines for lab greening and a checklist for actions to reduce waste, promote recycling, and conserve energy.

The Green Labs guide provides a Daily Actions, Monthly Actions, and Annual Actions sections which highlight specific actions lab members can perform to conserve resources. Actions are divided into five areas: energy conservation, water conservation, waste reduction, purchasing, and chemicals. Within each of these categories example actions include to turn off lights, use reusable water bottles, report dripping and leaking faucets, use shut off timers, water miser valves, and waterless water baths; use the lowest grade water where appropriate, eliminate water stills, increase autoclave efficiency, recycle, know your specific waste disposal protocols, and many more. The guide does not provide a training program for sustainable lab practices, but by following the suggested daily, weekly, and monthly actions, users will develop sustainable behaviors. A full list can be found in The Guide https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/pdf/Green%20Labs%20April%2026.pdf

Penn’s "Climate Action Plan" provides a framework for greening the day-to-day operations of our University, and the numerous labs on campus provide a prime opportunity to reduce our environmental impact and help us reach our sustainability goals. The variety of campus labs range from small undergraduate classrooms to large medical research facilities. As such, lab greening will vary based on the location, size, and type of research conducted in each lab.

One of Penn's most successful programs to conserve energy in labs is the Ultra-low Temperature (ULT) Freezer rebate program, which provides an incentive to purchase higher efficiency freezers and to reduce the number of old, under-utilized, and abandoned freezers.

The Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety (EHRS) at Penn offers University laboratories access to chemical inventory software to help research faculty manage their chemical storage. The inventory system acts to greatly improve the ability of individual laboratories to efficiently manage the purchase of hazardous chemicals and reduce the University's hazardous waste stream. The CISPro® inventory software is provided by ChemSW, a world leader in providing chemical inventory software support. CISPro® Chemical Inventory System is a high-performance, relational database system for tracking chemicals and other laboratory supplies. EHRS provides in-lab assistance and training to new users of the system. http://www.ehrs.upenn.edu/programs/labsafety/cheminv/

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.