Research and innovation occur everyday at Washington University in St. Louis. Our faculty, staff, and students are pursuing ground-breaking discoveries in all major disciplines across our campuses. The Green Lab program is a set of resources designed to reduce the environmental footprint of our 1.6 million square feet of lab space.
Coordinated by the Office of Sustainability, School of Medicine Sustainability staff, and Environmental Health & Safety, WashU’s Green Lab Program aims to encourage labs across all WashU campuses to be champions of our university’s sustainability ethic.
As of April 2023, participation is initiated through a point-based, self-assessment checklist with which labs can evaluate their current practices, set goals, and be recognized for their sustainable practices. As participants complete the checklist, points are automatically tallied. When a lab earns points above a set threshold, it will achieve Green Lab certification.
Steps to become Green Lab Certified
- Elect a Green Lab Liaison. This can be anyone in your lab that is interested in sustainability.
- Download the Green Lab Checklist and work with your lab to complete the checklist. The Green Lab Liaison may need to meet with several people in order to respond to the questions. A kick off meeting is encouraged to raise awareness about sustainable practices and prepare lab members for participation. You can utilize a staff meeting to set goals as a lab or identify opportunities from within the checklist that you may be able to implement before submissions. The Green Labs Team is available to support your certification process, by providing an initial or supplementary presentation, making recommendations and facilitating goal setting.
- If you have over 25 lab members, please email email@example.com to request your customized survey. Portions of the checklist require a response that takes all your lab members into consideration. To help facilitate collecting their responses, we provide a customized survey for these questions and a template to circulate the request. Once at least 75% of lab members respond, our team will input the aggregated responses into the checklist during our review process. Plan to encourage participation at multiple occasions and formats (staff meeting, emails, direct reminders, etc.) to ensure you can get to 75%. Keep in mind, you get bonus points if your team responds at 90% or above!
- Send your checklist to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Green Labs team will review your completed checklist and confirm your lab’s certification level. The deadline for calendar year 2023 submissions is December 31, 2023.
- To receive tips on greening your lab, make sure to subscribe to the program’s quarterly newsletter!
Want to pursue certification for your lab? Download the checklist here.
News & Progress
Check out these articles and posts about important Green Labs events, progress, and news happening around you.
Committed Green Labs
Here’s a list of labs that committed to reducing the environmental impacts of their research.
Ultra-Low Temp (-80) Freezers
By switching to High Efficiency (HE) ULT freezers, WashU can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by ~2,000 metric tons per year.
Green Labs Resources
Here are some comprehensive resources and tips & tricks for maintaining and improve your green laboratory.
Green Labs Signage Request
Click here to request a series of posters and stickers to easily communicate sustainable best practices throughout labs.
The Jackrel Lab in the Department of Chemistry collects expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) coolers and takes them to Foam Products Corporation in Maryland Heights, MO to be recycled!
The Analytical Biogeochemistry Lab in Earth and Planetary Sciences saves soft plastics, bags, and packaging and takes them to a local store to be recycled!