The first cohort of teams in Queen Mary’s Green Labs programme - LEAF celebrate their achievements.
The Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF), adopted at Queen Mary in 2021, is a certification scheme designed to enable staff and students to understand and improve the sustainability and efficiency of their laboratory areas.
The Framework criteria focus on areas like equipment, people, waste, sample and chemical management and research quality. One of the key features of LEAF is that it allows users to quantify both financial and carbon savings, so that each area can see first-hand how much of a difference their actions make.
It’s vitally important that laboratory research and buildings prioritise environmental sustainability. For example, these areas consume 5-10 times more energy per square meter than typical academic areas. We’re delighted to announce that 10 laboratories recently celebrated achieving the Bronze level LEAF award. This involved making changes to monitor material and energy use, segregate waste effectively and use facilities efficiently with the overall aim of improving laboratory environmental sustainability. Dr Valentina Rapisarda, Teaching Technician Manager in the School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences said: “When the LEAF-Green Lab Certification Scheme was launched at Queen Mary, I welcomed this as an opportunity for me and my team to improve our waste disposal procedures in our labs and communicate these to our students and staff members using our facilities.
With a little bit of effort and creativity, we have recently managed to receive the LEAF Bronze Award and we are extremely proud of this. We are now looking forward to progress to the next step, which will be the Silver award.
I strongly encourage other labs within Queen Mary to become part of the LEAF-Green Lab Certification Scheme. With little effort from lab members/users, we can have a strong and hopefully long-lasting impact.” Dr Pamela Swiatlowska, Postdoctoral research Assistant in the School of Engineering and Materials Science said: “As members of younger generation, we pay particular attention to making a positive impact on the environment. Unfortunately, laboratory byproducts, such as plastic packaging or constantly turned-on electrical equipment, are indifferent to the environment. Therefore, as scientists we want to minimize as much as possible the lab environmental impact, a side effect of our work.
Taking part in LEAF was an excellent teamwork experience, working altogether for a good cause. Implementing changes to be more planet-friendly, does not require a huge effort, but it can make a significant difference. Start small and go green!”
Congratulations to the following LEAF teams who achieved Bronze Awards in 2021-22;
School / Institute
Blizard Laboratory Management
The River Communities Group, River Laboratory, Dorset
School of Biological and Behaviour Sciences
Biology Teaching Labs
EECS Electronics Teaching Labs
School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
SEMS Laboratory 236
School of Engineering and Materials Science
SEMS Laboratory 237
SEMS Laboratory 238
SEMS Laboratory 239
Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratories 240 A-G
Find out more about registering for LEAF via the sustainability webpage and attend our upcoming training (code: EAF004) to get involved in 2022:
Green Lab Certification – An Introduction to LEAF (Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) with Martin Farley, Sustainable Laboratory Specialist, UCL. Thursday 31st March 2021 11–11:45am on MS Teams. Designed to give you an introduction into laboratory sustainability, the LEAF framework and how your lab can take part at Queen Mary. Sign-up is available via the CPD portal code EAF004 For any queries, please email Kate Thornton LEAF Coordinator on email@example.com