green labs

About UCI Green Labs

The UCI Green Labs program works with principal investigators, lab managers, and students to educate and assist in the implementation of more sustainable practices in campus laboratories. The program provides resources and guidance in areas including energy efficiency, waste reduction, water conservation, sustainable purchasing, and green chemistry. Upon incorporating greater sustainable practices, research groups are awarded official Green Labs certification. All campus research labs are encouraged to participate. 

Why Green Labs?

While only 20 percent of building space at UCI are laboratories, research labs consume approximately two-thirds of total campus energy. Laboratory spaces have great potential to reduce energy consumption, conserve water, and minimize waste. By practicing and developing a better understanding of sustainability, labs can be at the forefront in helping UCI achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

Participation Benefits

  • Recognition as lab sustainability champion
  • Prolong equipment life and reduce costs
  • Increase research efficiency
  • Reduce carbon footprint
  • Recognition for sustainability efforts on grants
  • Strengthen team building & community
  • Greater access to sustainability resources

Click below to participate in the Green Labs certification program!

 

The Certification Process

Upon submitting your interest to participate via the above sign-up form, a member of the Green Labs team will be in touch with you to schedule a 30-minute introductory meeting via Zoom. During this time, greater information about the program will be provided.

 

When your lab is ready to begin working towards certification, we will email you a link to the baseline assessment. This assessment will help inform our team how your lab is already practicing sustainability and where there is room for improvement and/or greater knowledge.

In an effort to develop an accurate foundation of current practices, we encourage labs to have 50% of its members take the assessment. For large labs, we recognize this might not be feasible and encourage as many people as possible to participate.

 

The Green Labs team will schedule a time via Zoom to present the results of the baseline assessment. Your lab will be provided with a helpful feedback report and presentation of your results, with recommendations on steps to incorporate greater sustainability into your lab.

Click here to view a sample feedback report.

Click here to view a sample presentation.

Using our recommendations as guidelines, we encourage labs to go at their own pace in implementing new or improved sustainable practices and behaviors. We find most labs complete the process over the duration of one quarter.

During this time, the Green Labs team will be of assistance to help guide you with improvements. Your lab will also be given a “Green Goody Bag” containing an assortment of signs, labels, and tools for your lab to use. 

When ready, your lab will take a reassessment. This is the same online survey that was used for the baseline assessment. The same questions are asked to gauge where improvements have been made, allowing us to see a “before and after” of results. 

Following the results of the reassessment, your lab will be given an overall score and certification level. Congrats!

There are five levels of certification:

1) Green – (Score of 80% or higher)

2) Platinum – (70% or higher)

3) Gold – (60% or higher)

4) Silver – (50% or higher)

5) Bronze – (40% or higher)

 

In recognition of your hard work, your lab will receive an official certificate, a decal sticker for your door, and added to the list of certified labs located on the UCI Green Labs website. With your permission, we will add you to our email listserv, informing you of special offers and discounts on equipment and ongoing access to resources.

 

Resources

Welcome Guide & Checklists
Downloadable Signs & Labels
Sustainable Remote Research
Energy Efficiency
Water Conservation
Waste Reduction
Green Chemistry
Procurement

Certified Green Labs

FAQs

We encourage each lab to go at its own pace with the certification process. Generally, the process takes about 3 months (one quarter) to complete. The Green Labs program focuses on enhancing sustainable behavior, which can be integrated and practiced during your daily research. Additional time is requested for a brief introductory meeting and completion of the assessments.  

There are five levels of certification. The scores are determined based off of the cumulative results of the online assessment. The online assessment is created and reviewed by our program partners, My Green Lab

1) Green – (Score of 80% or higher)

2) Platinum – (70% or higher)

3) Gold – (60% or higher)

4) Silver – (50% or higher)

5) Bronze – (40% or higher)

Yes! Your lab is welcome to re-certify as many times as you’d like. This may be of interest for labs who seek a higher level of certification.

All are welcome to sign-up for the program here. This goes for anyone working and studying in a wet lab – students, staff, and PIs.

It is common for students to take the lead on the certification process for their research group. Following the introductory meeting, we kindly ask you seek approval from your PI before proceeding.

Due to social distancing measures, the Green Labs program has been adapted to be done virtually. We will conduct meetings and informational sessions over Zoom and deliver resources via campus mail or dropped off at the entrance to your lab at designated times. If you would like for a member or two of the Green Labs team to conduct an in-person visit (ie: tour of the lab space), we can arrange a safe time to do so following all campus safety protocols.

No, by participating in the Green Labs program, you will not be required to purchase new equipment. This program is primarily behavior-based, meaning we teach you and your lab members how to integrate sustainability into your daily research. This may include how to dispose of materials properly, how to conserve energy, how to reduce water usage, how to make sustainable purchasing decisions (when that time may come for your lab to make new purchases), and how to safeguard your research.

Visit our Green Labs at Home page for quick and easy tips to stay green when conducting research remotely and communicating with other lab members.