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It is strange that we are able to achieve more sustainable and eco-friendly practices at home, but not when we go to the laboratory. We forget the reduce – reuse-recycle principle. We all know that climate change is on the rise and we must do more to combat it. First, let me emphasize the role that different life sciences branches play in climate change. Globally, the pharmaceutical industry produces 55% more greenhouse gases than the automotive sector, while 4,4% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the healthcare sector (hospitals, laboratories, etc., 2020).
Engineering research is based on sustainable development. Cities are becoming more flexible, inclusive, and intelligent. This context calls for environments that can replicate real-life environments in order to enable cutting-edge technology to be applied in society.
Scientists are beginning to address the issue of non-sustainability in laboratories. They can make more efficient use of resources, which leads to better funding opportunities.
It is important to keep routine procedures simple and well-regulated. This will ensure that you get faster results and better quality.
Here are few most important ways to make your laboratory more sustainable
Reduce energy consumption and conserve your resources
An average laboratory’s equipment must be on 24 hours a day. Labs consume five to ten times as much energy per square foot as other buildings. Although many lab equipment cannot be turned off to save energy or reduce emissions, there are still methods to lower their energy consumption. Did you know that labs use 4-5x more energy per hour than any other units within your Research organization? You can dramatically reduce your energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions if you work in a laboratory. Ready?
These are some ways to save energy at the lab:
1.Hit the switch
2.Be strict with the maintenance schedule
3.Purchase green lab equipment.
4.Utilize green chemistry
5.Turn off the tap
6.Turn off ovens
7.Use timers when possible
8.Follow the optimum ventilation rates
9.Put autoclaves in standby mode when not in use & only run them when full
10.Set ultra-low temperature freezers to -70 C instead of -80 C
Improve your waste management
Complex problems can arise when managing laboratory waste. This often means that multiple solutions are needed to ensure your system is running smoothly and effectively. You can make your lab’s waste management easier by making a few adjustments along the way.
1.3 ways to improve your laboratory waste management:
3.Ensuring your Hazardous Materials Business Plan is updated
4.Working with an experienced lab waste management company
Take care of your equipment
Equipment maintenance is the first step to making sure your experiments go smoothly, regardless of whether you are trying to keep your budget in check or to save money. Cross-contamination can be a problem if your lab is not clean and tidy. Good lab maintenance doesn’t just have benefits.
Here is the checklist for maintaining your laboratory equipment:
1.Clean up every day
2.Check personal protective equipment
3.Restock handwashing stations
4.Maintain emergency stations
Optimize your processes
It is essential to be efficient, safe, and clean in the laboratory. It is important to keep routine procedures simple and well-regulated. This will ensure that you get faster results and better quality. Planning and organizing your laboratory space is the first step in achieving good laboratory work. Optimizing lab space can increase productivity and improve workflow. We have 8 ways you can optimize your lab space.
Incorporate sustainability in your culture
It is essential to use system thinking to incorporate green chemistry and safety in laboratory culture. Chemists will be at molecular level to find innovative solutions to global problems.
It is crucial to ensure safe working conditions in the chemical industry.
This will also help society to create a sustainable future. We know that green chemistry is the best way to conduct chemistry in a way that is friendly to life.