Sustainable Labs

As places of innovation and discovery, our laboratories play a key role in embedding sustainability across the whole institution.

Students working in a lab


At the University of Leeds, we are committed to integrating sustainability across education, research, and operations. We have outstanding facilities that allow research to thrive. However, laboratory activity consumes around 5-10 times more energy per square meter than typical academic spaces.

There’s a real need – and opportunity – to tackle this and reduce the negative environmental effects of laboratories on campus and beyond.

LEAF; Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework

We use LEAF,  a tool developed by University College London, to help researchers, staff and students understand and improve the sustainability and efficiency of their laboratories.

LEAF logo

LEAF contains criteria that lab users can implement around areas such as waste & recycling, equipment management, procurement, and more. The criteria are based on actions that have already been proven to work in other laboratories. A key feature of LEAF is that it allows you to quantify your impact in both financial and carbon savings.

LEAF is intended for anyone working in any of our labs, including NHS areas. It is ideal for technical staff, lab management, PhDs and post-docs with an interest in sustainability, or anyone working around laboratories.

If you would like to sign your lab up to LEAF, please sign up via our form.

Our LEAF Laboratories


  • Chemistry Teaching Labs
  • FS&N Teaching Labs – ENV
  • FS&N Research Labs – ENV
  • iPRD – EPS
  • Soft Matter Physics – EPS
  • Oral Biology – FMH
  • Elton Zeqiraj Lab – FBS


  • Electron Microscopy Facility – FBS
  • Elton Zeqiraj Lab – FBS


  • Bioimaging and Flow Cytometry Facility – FBS
  • Protein Production Facility – FBS


  • CAPE Analytical Facilities – EPS
  • MNP/BioNano – EPS
  • Biomolecular Interaction Facility – FBS
  • Mass Spectrometry Facility – FBS
  • X-Ray Crystallography Facility – FBS
  • Flow Cytometry and Bioimaging Lab – FMH
  • LIMR labs – FMH

Sustainable Labs resource hub

We have developed a Sustainable Labs resource hub which has information, tools and advice to help labs become more sustainable. If you have any materials you would like to add to the hub then please get in touch at
Sustainable Labs resource hub

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our sustainable labs work is linked to the following SDGs:

  • Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy
  • Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.