What is LEAF?
Laboratory based research is essential for advancing society but it is also extremely energy and resource intensive. Laboratories typically consume 3-10 times more energy per meter squared than typical academic spaces.
Here at Sustainable UCL, we have developed a new programme to improve the sustainability and efficiency of laboratories. We have called this programme LEAF, short for the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework. Before making it widely available, we piloted LEAF for 2 years with 23 other universities and research institutes.
LEAF contains actions which lab users can take to save plastics, water, energy and other resources. By taking part in the programme, laboratories will reduce their carbon emissions and create an environment that supports research quality.
Laboratories are awarded either a Bronze, Silver or Gold level depending on how many sustainability actions they take.
A key feature of LEAF is that it allows participants to estimate the impact of changes in financial and carbon terms with user-friendly calculators.
LEAF is open to both staff and students working in laboratories, including research or teaching facilities across biology, chemistry and medicine.