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Green Impact Labs

Labs have a greater environmental impact than offices by at least five times. They use more resources, produce more waste, and consume more energy and water. Green Impact Labs helps you make your lab more sustainable, and achieve Green Lab Accreditation by completing a guided workbook. Bristol is one of the leading institutions that has developed and launched the new Green Impact Labs framework, building upon existing assessments such as S-LAB and My Green Lab.

For an overview of the criteria prior to signing up, you can view the environmental framework

Benefits of signing up to Green Impact Labs

  • Reduce utility costs and environmental footprint
  • Opportunity for direct savings through our financial incentive schemes
  • Ensures health and safety compliance within labs
  • Increases research efficiency 
  • Provides recognition for individual labs and the University on a national stage
  • Enables a bottom-up sustainability movement 
  • Integrates different labs and departments
  • Practice-based learning experiences that improve professional skills and employability
  • Strengthens relationships between Estates, lab users and other stakeholders. 
  • Aligns your research with the University strategy and Bristol Futures
  • Provides chances of gaining additional research funding
  • Improves student experience via volunteering opportunities as Green Impact Lab Project Assistants
  • Inter-lab and inter-departmental benchmarking
  • Creates a better understanding within our community of our science buildings and operations

Who can take part?

The scheme is aimed at teams of employees. Staff can organise their own teams and it’s very flexible in terms of what a team is. For example, a team might be all staff in a research group, all staff in a lab or groups of staff with the same role such as all technical staff.

Ideally we will have a range of teams representing the university from across the different schools, including both academic and non-academic staff. Anyone can act as the staff team lead and they are responsible for completing and submitting the workbook of evidence to show what has been achieved. There can be a number of staff team leads and it is important to remember you can recruit students to help you!

How it works

The Green Impact Lab teams are given a list of environmental activities in the form of an online workbook broken down into Bronze, Silver and Bonus categories to complete. Each activity is a clear, easy to implement action. Every activity in 'Bronze' or 'Silver' must be completed in order to achieve that accreditation level. Each activity is scored, and depending on the number of activities that are completed and the number of points scored teams can achieve either the 'Gold' or 'Platinum' awards. There are also a number of special awards; the categories for these are: Environmental Improvement, Environmental Hero, Innovation for Engagement and Community Action. Throughout the project, support will be provided by the Sustainable Labs Officer and other members of staff from the university’s Estates Department.

The project also involves our students by enabling them to become volunteers with special environmental auditing training. Once trained the students then visit Green Impact Lab teams to ensure that the activities have been completed to the recommended standard. Involving students in this way provides both training and practical experience in environmental auditing. Teams can also be audited by staff from the Estates department, or by peer assessment as alternatives if they wish.

Towards the end of the project a special awards ceremony will be held where the teams will be presented with their bronze, silver, gold or platinum awards.

Green Impact Award Levels

Green impact is designed so teams can continuously improve, moving up through the standards at your own pace. Noted below are the standards and what you need to do to achieve them.

In progress: start doing any of the criteria, even if it’s only a few

Bronze: complete all the Bronze criteria;

Silver: complete all Bronze AND all Silver criteria;

Gold: complete all Bronze and Silver criteria AND complete your choice of Bonus criteria to get an overall total of 300 points;

Platinum: complete all Bronze and Silver criteria AND complete your choice of Bonus criteria to get an overall total of 400 points.

Special Awards: In addition to the above we also have special awards, Labs Environmental Hero, Labs Community Action, Labs Innovation for Engagement Award Labs Community Action Award.

Join Green Impact Labs: sign up to next year's challenge


Can I sign up to the office Green Impact and Green Impact Labs? 

You can sign up to both Green Impact for offices AND for labs. It will mean you can get double the recognition and make double the impact. Most labs have write-up areas attached, or additional office space for staff and students, therefore the office criteria will apply. 

Sign up to Green Impact for offices

2016/17 winners

12 teams achieved Green Lab Accreditation, find out who...

Sustainable Labs Network

Green Impact Labs is about teamwork, but you can also join our Sustainable Labs Network individually.

Become a project assistant

Students can volunteer to conduct lab assessments and audits to help our staff gain Green Lab Accreditation. 

Opening date

The workbook opens in November 2017 for the 2017/18 awards. 

Green Impact Labs teams

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