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First Gold LEAF accreditation awarded to PIXC lab

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Congratulations to the PIXC Research Facility in the Faculty of Biological Sciences for achieving the first Gold LEAF accreditation at the University of Leeds!

LEAF (Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) is a tool that was developed by University College London (UCL) to help researchers, staff, and students understand and improve the sustainability and efficiency of their laboratories. It covers areas including energy use, waste & recycling, equipment management, procurement, and more. LEAF is now the world’s most widely used Green Labs Certification programme, with over 1,600 labs registered across the UK, Europe, and as far away as Australia. The Medical Research Council (MRC) has made it a target for their facilities to reach Gold by 2025. 

PIXC previously held Bronze and Silver accreditation from 2021 and 2022 and have subsequently been awarded Gold in their latest audit, led by Staff Sustainability Architect Faye Blinkhorne.  

The PIXC Facility is in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and works predominantly in protein expression and purification; protein folding, interactions, and characterisation; and x-ray crystallography.  

As a core research facility, researchers from across the University use the lab, with most users coming from the Faculty of Biological Sciences (FBS) and the Faculty of Medicine and Health (FMH). This means that their achievement with LEAF has the potential to showcase lab sustainability to other areas of the University. 

Photo of two people stood chatting in the lab

Faye Blinkhorne, a Research Technician in PIXC and Staff Sustainability Architect, said 

We're over the moon to be the first lab in the University to achieve the Gold LEAF award. It feels great to be recognised for our sustainability efforts, and hopefully this is the first of many Golds across the University!

Support in achieving LEAF certification is available for anyone working in a lab at the University of Leeds, including technical staff, lab management, PhDs, and post-docs. As well as supporting sustainable practice, it is an important means for staff and students to support the University’s Climate Plan, as on average a lab could save 2.9t CO2e and £3k per year. 

For more information about LEAF or ways to make your lab more sustainable visit our Sustainable Labs Resource Hub. 


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