|Submission Date||May 5, 2020|
University of Victoria
IN-19: Green Laboratory Program
|0.50 / 0.50||
Occ Health, Safety & Envir
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 Green Labs program is intended to provide researchers with resources and tools to implement sustainable practices without compromising health and safety. The goal of the program is to reduce our impact on the environment by reducing energy costs and minimizing hazardous materials use and wastes in laboratories.
In 2014 , a project was initiated to have all fume hoods flow adjusted down to meet regulatory provincial compliance standards and save energy. Following the above regulatory compliance and energy savings project, UVic rolled out further energy savings initiative called Set Back and Shut the Sash initiative in 2014 in conjunction with the Science labs, Sustainability, and OHSE departments. The initiative saw energy savings equal to 5 homes by using the night set back mode and also supported safety measures with respect to accurate fume hood usage. This initiative is embedded into the Sciences buildings that are able to be in scope at this time and will be further expanded to other buildings when feasible, and the OHSE compliance project is complete.
A new Lab Freezer Initiative aimed at energy conservation is also currently underway which would optimize the use of -80 degrees Celsius lab freezers. To date, internal stakeholder consultation has been conducted and then the University will move onto Phase 2 of this project which would see interested lab users increase their freezer temperatures to -70 degrees Celsius and also continue with a freezer sample inventory cleanout.
The Science Labs switched out water powered aspirators for electrical and air powered pumps. As well, recirculating chilled water systems are now used in lieu of continuously flowing cold water in the Bob Wright building labs, one floor of Elliott building and incorporated into lab renovations and building upgrades where feasible.
Guidelines for General Hazardous Waste Chemical Disposal and Protocols is available to view on the Green Labs website. It is part of the Hazardous Waste Management System which is designed to deal with hazardous wastes on campus in an environmentally responsible manner, maintain compliance with local regulation sand demonstrating a best practices approach to environmental safety. Included in the viewable guidelines are:
- Acidic and Basic Protocols
- Reactive Waste Disposal Protocols
- Cytotoxic Waste Disposals and Protocols
Additionally, UVic has moved away from the use of Ethidium Bromide and now uses environmentally safe alternatives. A list of safe alternatives, provided by the University of British Columbia, is available to view on the Green Labs website.
The Green Labs program at UVic ran a very successful Mercury thermometer exchange program in 2013 in which over 325 mercury thermometers were taken out of the system and exchanged for environmentally safe, non-toxic thermometers. Green Labs continues to encourage all labs on campus to opt for environmentally safe and non-toxic thermometers.
The Lab Glassware Recycling Protocol is available for view on the Green Labs website and outlines how to clean lab glassware so that it is acceptable for recycle. It also provides information on campus locations for drop off of different types of lab glassware, so they are appropriately pre-sorted and ready for recycle.
Sustainability and Green Labs awareness are weaved into Lab Safety training as well as embedded into the annual lab inspections. A Green Labs checklist is in draft form and will be rolled out to the Sciences in the near future.
Website URL where information about the green laboratory program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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