Below is a live feed of the Sustainable Labs Yammer page, an online social media platform for anyone using lab facilties at Leeds and want to keep updated on the latest announcements, activities, best practice, events and advice. To join, please visit the page here: and search for ‘Sustainable Labs – Uni of Leeds.




If you or your team are lab users and would like to share your sustainability actions or news regarding projects, purchases and working practices please contact Joshua West for them to appear on this page. No idea is too small, big, or crazy, from actions such as fume cupboard sash closing competitions to large scale procurement investments in energy efficient equipment.


University of Edinburgh – How Cold Do We Go? – 29/06/16

Most ultra-low cold storage facilities are set to a standard -80 temperature to preserve (mostly) biological samples for long periods of time. But as we know, these freezers are incredibly energy intensive. Up to 40% energy savings can be made from a freezer running at -60 as against -80, but how can we guarantee our samples will still be viable? Is the risk too great?

The University of Edinburgh is conducting a study to assess this theory over the next 5 years, testing samples in freezers at -80, -70 and -60 to see if degradation does indeed differ or not.

For more information on this study please visit


Recyclable, Reusable, Rectangular Petri Dishes – 12/04/16

A medical school staff member from Newcastle University has invented and patented a rectangular petri dish that can be washed, autoclaved and reused over 50 times! Not only are the environmental benefits apparent, reducing the number of lab resources and increasing recyclable materials, but the novel shape allows more cultures to be tested per plate than standard circular plates.

For more information and contact details for booking queries follow this link:


Some Useful Resources – 24/03/16

S-Lab: Safe, Successful and Sustainable Laboratories

The S-Lab programme is a national initiative that aims to stimulate the development of laboratories which have a smaller environmental footprint and which inspire sustainability interest and action among both staff and students.

Their website hosts a collection of case studies, showcasing universities’ initiatives and sharing of best practice.

For example, in 2010 Newcastle University highlighted 36 ultra-cold -80C freezers to be replaced by new energy efficient New Brunswick models. The result was a reduction from an average annual consumption of 9,349kWh to 5,548kWh, producing a cost saving of £361 per annum per unit.

Other useful links are provided below:

My Green Lab

My Green Lab is a non-profit organisation founded in 2013, and is  dedicated to improving the sustainability of scientific research, focusing on laboratory behavioral changes and leading data-driven research into resource consumption. 

The website contains a host of information on how to take actions in your own laboratory facilities, from lighting and fume hoods to water and waste reduction.   


Sustainable Labs Working Group Meeting – 18/03/16

The working group returns for the first meeting of 2016!

On Tuesday 23rd February the Sustainable Labs Working Group congregated for the first time this year to share updates, both positive and negative, on sustainable working practices across laboratory spaces. We discussed management systems for chemical storage, such as LabCup (demo event for staff), and how to achieve more effective equipment sharing (reuse@leeds:labs) and procurement strategies. We also discussed energy efficient practices for ultra-cold storage (the updated Freezer Guidance Document 2016 can be found HERE), water use, and fume cupboards. These will be some of the key issues as we progress to a more sustainable laboratory network.

Think about it, in an average week how much waste have you produced? Was it recyclable? How much energy did you use? Could you have used less? Have you shared any pieces of equipment?What equipment could you have shared?

The Working Group would like to engage as many lab users as possible in the sustainable laboratory network. Joshua West (Sustainability Service Projects Assistant) is on the lookout for enthusiastic lab technicians and managers looking to bolster their public speaking skills and share their sustainable working practices at this spring’s Sustainability Forum. 

If this opportunity catches you eye or if you have any questions about the working group or the Sustainability Service in general then please contact Josh at