Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.17
Liaison Emily Vollmer
Submission Date May 16, 2024

STARS v2.2

Virginia Tech
IN-19: Green Laboratory Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Emily Vollmer
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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 Green Lab Certification Program is the product of a partnership between Virginia Tech Environmental Health and Safety and the Office of Sustainability.

The Green Lab Certification Program is a self-assessment tool that empowers, encourages, and recognizes labs that are engaging in sustainable practices. The program provides faculty, staff, and students with the tools needed to go green in their labs.

The Green Labs Tool, which assesses laboratory’s sustainability efforts, spans 11 different topic areas: Energy Conservation; Lighting; Cold Storage; Ventilation; Water Use, Waste Reduction; Recycling; Inventory Procurement; Green Chemistry; Travel; and Engagement.

Bolstering the sustainability of labs is a charge with deep ties to the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment, which serves as the university’s guiding framework around sustainability and energy efficiency in campus operations, facilities, curriculum, and research.

The Green Labs initiative supports the following Climate Action Commitment goals:

Goal 4 - Reduce building energy consumption to enable carbon neutrality by 2030. Labs tend to demand more energy than other spaces on campus, but there are opportunities to implement behavior changes and purchasing standards to reduce energy consumption in many of our buildings with laboratories. This reduction can have a significant impact on Virginia Tech's ability to reach carbon neutrality.

Goal 7 - Virginia Tech to become a zero-waste campus by 2030. Labs can produce a lot of waste that may be unique from other spaces on campus. By completing their Green Lab Certification, labs can create a plan to better manage their waste and help Virginia Tech reach its goal of being zero-waste.

Goal 12 - Diminish barriers to sustainable behaviors through institutional change, education, and social marketing. By making sustainable practices the norm in laboratories, we're helping reduce the barriers to acting sustainably within those spaces. Additionally, this program will help educate all members of a lab on the impact their work may have on the environment, while providing them with tools and tips to reduce that impact.

More information can be found about the program here: https://vtx.vt.edu/articles/2022/01/sustainability-greenlab.html

Website URL where information about the green laboratory program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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