Sustainable UCL


Take part in LEAF

The LEAF initiative will help you improve the sustainability and efficiency of your laboratories.

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LEAF is now available for any research institution looking to improve their sustainability, including outside of the UK. If you are interested in taking part, contact us on LEAF@ucl.ac.uk for an introduction and information on how to get involved.

What does LEAF comprise of?

The LEAF programme comprises the following:

  • The Framework (online): This consists of actions relating to waste, people, travel, energy, water, procurement, and research quality. Each action is supported by a rationale as well as evidenced guidance to help implement it.
  • Calculators (online): These tools enable lab users to estimate the current sustainability performance of their lab and track improvements as they implement changes.
  • Toolkit and Resources: To support and optimise the implementation of LEAF, a toolkit of materials has been developed. These include technical guides, procedural guides, inductions, and further resources that can be found here.
  • User Engagement & Training: To help initiate your LEAF programme, we offer each institution a tailored workshop to engage laboratory staff and students on sustainable science, and to introduce LEAF.

You can see a few example actions below:

Infographic to show criteria for Bronze, Silver God on Waste, People, Chemical management and equipment.
How do you start a LEAF programme?

We recommend following these steps to begin your Green Lab Programme:

  1. If LEAF is new at your institution get in touch with us on LEAF@ucl.ac.uk to sign-up.
  2. Set-up your institution on LEAF – Your labs may then enroll themselves
  3. Labs complete the actions for the award level sought (Bronze, Silver, or Gold)
  4. Optionally: Labs may estimate carbon and financial savings based on their actions. Labs can also record any initiatives and savings, to be reported on for their institution.
  5. Labs submit for review
  6. LEAF’s online platform and Criteria Guide allows institutions to easily self-assess, either through administrator assessments or our unique peer-audit functionality. A set of recommended audits processes are outlined that institutions may adapt locally, building local capacity for sustainable science in the process.  
  7. Labs are certified - Institutions will be presented with total savings, participation rates, and other data in an impact report.
  8. Repeat!
UCL Staff & Students
  • To access LEAF, click here. Use your usual UCL ID and password.
  • For a LEAF user guide, contact LEAF@ucl.ac.uk
  • Contact Martin Farley to:
    • Request a short-talk on how to use LEAF, or request written guidance  
    • Join our Sustainable Labs Teams site for updates regarding sustainable laboratories by writing Martin Farley to be added to the network.
    • Ask any other query regarding sustainability in your laboratories.