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Sustainable Labs On Tour

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Sustainable Labs

The Sustainable Labs programme is launching a roadshow tour of campus in January and February 2024 to promote engagement with sustainability in labs across the University.

Staff involved with work in laboratories are invited to meet the Sustainable Labs team to find out how they can make a difference in 2024 - reducing their environmental impact, accessing funding opportunities and gaining accreditation.  The roadshow includes opportunities to find out more, meet with colleagues and win prizes.

Sustainability in labs

Lab spaces use between three and ten times more energy than other campus spaces, as well as requiring a range of resources and materials. This means they make a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and waste. 

However, there are a range of simple actions that lab users can do to significantly reduce resource and energy use such as changing freezer settings, switching to reusable lab consumables and turning equipment off when not being used. As well as being better for the environment, this can also offer cost savings for labs. 

Our Sustainable Labs Programme

The Sustainable Labs programme supports our labs community in improving sustainability in labs. Led by Laura Wilkinson Hewitt in the Sustainability Service and supported by Student Sustainability Architect, Ashley Victoria, the programme is being expanded as part of the University’s Climate Plan and target to deliver net zero emissions by 2030 

The team manage a SharePoint resource hub, an online Teams community, and host regular meetings to share knowledge and information. Some of the initiatives available through the programme includes funding to upgrade inefficient equipment, timers to switch off equipment when not being used, MyGreenLab ambassador training, and coveted LEAF (Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) certification. 

LEAF is a certification scheme that awards bronze, silver and gold awards to labs achieving key sustainability criteria. It is a nationally recognised certification and the University has committed to funding institutional access, meaning it is free for any member of staff to sign their lab up and take part. In 2023, fifteen labs on campus were awarded with LEAF certificates to recognise the actions they have taken to improve sustainability, making a total of 34 labs holding LEAF accreditation. A further 17 labs are actively working towards LEAF, and the programme is working towards achieving 100% coverage of labs at the University of Leeds. 

Meet the team on tour

You can meet the team and find out more about the Sustainable Labs programme between 1030am and 2pm on the following dates: 

  • Tuesday 16th January, Airport Lounge L7 Worsley, School of Medicine 
  • Friday 19th January, Chaston Chapman Lounge, School of Chemistry 
  • Monday 22nd January - Earth and Environment building reception foyer, Faculty of Environment
  • Wednesday 24th, Bragg Atrium, Sir William Henry Bragg Building 
  • Monday 29th, SCAPE Foyer, School of Chemical Process Engineering 

 More information can be found on the Sustainable Labs Resource Hub (University of Leeds login required) or by contacting 



United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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

  • Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Goal 13: Climate action
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructureUnited Nation Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible consumption and productionUnited Nation Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate actionUnited Nation Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals