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The booklet aims to inspire and support staff within SETU and other research institutions to adopt greener and more sustainable practices within their laboratories

Researchers at the Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PBMRC) have developed a Greener Lab booklet as a guide for implementing more sustainable practices in laboratories.

The booklet launched on 18 April, in advance of Earth Day on 22 April, was developed as part of the ongoing PMBRC My Green Lab accreditation programme. It aims to inspire and support research teams, researchers, and technical staff within SETU and at other research institutions to adopt greener and more sustainable practices and culture within their laboratories. The PMBRC Green Lab multi-disciplinary implementation team is a collaboration of academics, technical officers, postdoctoral researchers, and postgraduate students based at the SETU Waterford Campus. The group were supported by South East Technological University (SETU) Estates Office in Waterford, and the Working Energy Advisory Group (WEAG).

Four pillars for lab sustainability

The team tackled four main pillars for lab sustainability; energy, water, waste, and green chemistry/biology which are outlined in the booklet. The team hopes to contribute to a greener future by improving practices within their Centre and encouraging more sustainable practices across all laboratories at SETU. They hope that by sharing this resource, others will be able to implement manageable changes within their laboratories. This is an ongoing and evolving project which aims for continuous improvement.

The team were delighted to present the booklet to the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris and regional TDs at their visit to SETU and the PMBRC on 27 March 2023 with SETU President Prof Veronica Campbell.

National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development

Minister Simon Harris said: “The SETU team are to be commended on their work in compiling this booklet and sharing their experience of the implementation of green and sustainable best practises in their laboratories. Shared learning is key to achieving our objectives and in the implementation of our National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to 2030 within research in Higher Education.”

Prof Veronica Campbell added: “Science laboratories can be particularly resource intensive spaces and it is important that scientists involved in academic research and teaching try to embed more sustainable practises in their work. This booklet will act as a beneficial resource for all our laboratories at SETU in making the necessary change to reduce their environmental impact.”

The Greener Lab Booklet is available here on the PMBRC website as a tool for all laboratory users within academic and industry settings.