UCL Learning Portfolio


Sustainability in Science
Course Description:

This course empowers researchers, technical staff, and students to make their laboratories more environmentally sustainable, improving efficiency and quality of research along the way.

Laboratories contribute to 2% of the world's plastic waste. They also use 3-10 times more energy than typical academic spaces. The energy alone in UCL's Labs costs £9m a year. This presents a huge opportunity to improve our working practices to make the research environment more sustainable.

There is a burgeoning field in 'laboratory sustainability' or 'green labs', which aims to improve research outcomes, reduce the cost of research and minimize the environmental impact of laboratories. This workshop introduces laboratory sustainability and provides context for its growing importance. Benefits of this course extend beyond resource/energy saving outcomes.

The workshop will conclude with a discussion of the future trends science, and how you can get further involved. What will be the focus of tomorrow's laboratories, and how can we ensure that we continue researching consciously? Make sure you're part of the conversation!


This session will cover:

  • An introduction as to why sustainability is relevant in the lab.
  • Practical actions that may be taken to reduce energy consumption.
  • Practical actions to reduce plastic use and clinical waste.
  • Practical actions to reduce costs, and improve equipment use.
  • Recommended steps to improve research quality and reproducibility.
  • Discussion of implementation and how best to achieve the above steps - UCL specific.
  • Supporting resources available.

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Understand the importance sustainability in laboratory research and teaching.
  • Engage fellow staff/researchers/students on achieving a more sustainable laboratory.
  • Be informed on best practice in laboratory management from around the world.
  • Making your research practices more sustainable and cost effective.
  • Learn some basic technical advice on various laboratory management aspects e.g. chemicals procurement/management, staff, equipment, waste, etc.
Intended Audience:

Anyone that works around a laboratory PhDs, technicians, lab managers, PIs, support staff, etc

Target Audience: UCL Research Staff and PG Research students only
26/01/2022 - 26/01/2022  (Enrol between 11/10/2021 and 19/01/2022)

06/04/2022 - 06/04/2022  (Enrol between 11/10/2021 and 30/03/2022) Enrol

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