UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


ISH Heritage Science Labs team win gold award for sustainability

15 July 2021

The ISH Heritage Science Labs team, led by Scott Orr and Miriam Wright, were again awarded the top-level prize at UCL Sustainability Awards 2021.

sketch of the UCL Portico from the 19th century

Dr Scott Orr, Lecturer in Heritage Data Science, and Dr Miriam Wright, Heritage Science Lab Technician, won the Gold Sustainable Labs Award for the second year in a row. The award was presented at a virtual awards ceremony following their completion of the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF), developed by Sustainable UCL.

The award recognises sustainable laboratory practices that allow research to be conducted in a resource efficient and sustainable way. LEAF contains criteria which lab users can implement around areas such as waste & recycling, equipment management, procurement, and more.

The win follows the team’s success in 2020 where they received the Gold Sustainable Labs Award for their work in the Heritage Science Labs in Gordon House, in UCL’s Bloomsbury campus, and in the Institute for Sustainable Heritage Labs, in Here East. 

Despite effectively doubling the space accounted for in their application, the team kept waste production and energy consumption about the same, representing a much lower footprint per lab area. 

Scott and Miriam continued to work with other UCL departments to undertake efficient and sustainable approaches to repairing equipment (including UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering), reducing service visits and the affiliated carbon footprint of automobile travel.

In a bid to cement ISH’s commitment to sustainable practices, and in order to provide continuity to its efforts, Sustainability has been added as a standing agenda item into regular lab meetings.