Last week the Sustainability team hosted the first ever KCL Lab Sustainability Awards. These awards are a part of the NUS Green Impact awards with a focus on research laboratories, and utilise the S-Lab environmental assessment framework to evaluate labs for their efficiency and sustainability. 10 teams participated in the awards; the most teams in England. 8 won bronze and the other 2 teams commendably won silver, as the long-term goals are for incremental effective improvements which are user driven.
A host of positive actions were taken as a part of these awards. Martin Farley, (Research Efficiency Officer and lab-awards manager) spoke of some tissue culture labs at FWB managed by Beatriz Padilla (PhD candidate). Their ULT freezer was almost full and they were either about buy a new freezer or out source for space. Instead they decided to defrost there ULT freezer as a part of the awards. They managed to create ~40-50% more space, audited the samples they had, and put less strain on the freezers compressor by cleaning the dirty filter. Not only did they avoid purchase and running costs of a new ULT freezer, they saved on the one they owned.
Worth mentioning are the two silver teams: Dr. Bernard Freeman (Lab Manager) and Sandhya Anantharaman (Research Technician) helped SGDP achieve a silver award with their in-house designed online lab management tools. Women’s Health also commendably achieved silver through their note-worthy engagement and shared plans to re-engage with the awards next year. Dr. Pamela Taylor-Harris of the Women’s Health Team (also including Cally Gill and Rima Patel) stated “Women’s Health were definitely inspired by lab sustainability and I’m sure would like to take part again and continue to improve practice in the future.”.
Next year the aim is to grow the number of teams participating, and aid the repeating teams to achieve new and improved goals in an aim to bring all labs to a Gold standard. Look to our website for more details and updates about what is going on, or contact Martin Farley or the sustainability team at firstname.lastname@example.org.