|Submission Date||March 6, 2020|
Washington University in St. Louis
IN-9: Green Laboratories
Operations & Facilities Management
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 Labs program at Washington University is a voluntary process for reducing energy, water, waste, and chemical use in the laboratory setting while upholding the priorities of research integrity, education, and safety.
Energy conservancy and efficiency: policies for mandatory high-efficiency ULT freezers (with more HE equipment coming soon), financial incentives for retiring old ULTs, “shut the sash” stickers for all fume hoods, “power down” guidance stickers for lab equipment, autoclave best practices, switching to LED lighting across the campus, turning lights off overnight and on weekends, keeping thermostats low, and building system (HVAC, etc.) upgrades to address large-scale energy conservation.
Water conservation and efficiency: using the correct purity water based on need (not using DI in place of tap when possible), eliminating single-pass cooling systems, offering beadbaths and bead “ice” buckets as prize giveaways, autoclave best practices, eliminating fees for fixing leaking faucets, installing low-flow faucets where possible.
Chemical Use and Disposal: a close partnership with EH&S allows us to promote our lab clean-out procedures when labs need to dispose of unwanted chemicals, save storage guidelines, “sharing” or chemical transfer between labs to eliminate unnecessary purchasing, detailed chemical inventories, reducing mercury in the lab by promoting alternatives, and promoting green chemical alternatives.
Materials management, e.g. green purchasing guidelines and recycling and reuse programs: encouraging labs to utilize on-campus stock rooms first, then promoting vendors that have local storage facilities or are completely local companies, then promoting vendors that offer reduced packaging or styrofoam take-back programs, encouraging consolidated ordering, selecting high-efficiency equipment and products made with recycled content. We have lab-specific recycling signage available to all labs so users can correctly sort into landfill, biohazard, and single-stream recycling, our custodial team collects EPS coolers that can be sent back to the vendors (they collect, package, and transport coolers to our mail & receiving collection points), we are currently vetting glove recycling programs and animal bedding compost systems. We have special collection points for pipette tip box recycling.
Training for lab users on sustainable practices: offer lab-specific “Recycling Genius” presentations to interested labs, clear lab-specific recycling signage available to all labs, general green labs informational sessions and vendor fairs hosted periodically, detailed website with ongoing updates, the “Green Labs Guide” is a comprehensive guide to sustainable practices in the lab – this 20+ page document and 1-page checklist is available for download on the website.
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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