University of California, Riverside


Green Lab

Green Lab

Green your Lab!

Laboratories may only occupy 1/2 of campus floor space, but they consume 3/4 of campus energy, waste excessive amounts of potable water and generate an increasing waste flow that ends up in landfills. Our goal is to assist researchers on campus in reducing their environmental impact, while improving safety, encouraging best practices in laboratory management, and promoting inter-lab communication and resource sharing. UCR has more than 900 laboratories on campus, which typically consume 5 times more energy than classroom or office space. The UCR Green Lab Program can help your lab to minimize energy, water, and material goods use without compromising research integrity or efficiency.

Shut the SashShut the Sash!

Fume hoods are a large energy user inside a lab. One fumehood consumes as much as 3.5 households.

When a fume hood is left open, more stress is placed on the heating and ventilation system in the building to supply more conditioned air into the rooms and maintain proper pressure and temperature. Shutting the sash reduces their energy use and provides a safety barrier between you and the contents of the hood. If you want a free sticker to remind fumehood users to close the sash, contact us.

Did you know?

A typical fume hood that runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year consumes 3.5-times more energy then an average house!

Fume HoodWhat you can do:

  • Always close fume hood sashes.
  • Post a sticker on the fume hood as a reminder to shut the sash.
  • Turn off tissue culture hood completely when not in use. And use UV lights for 30 minutes sterilization, only if necessary.
  • Never store chemicals in fume hoods

Energy Efficient Incentive Program

A typical Ultra Low Temperature freezer use around 17 kWh per day when new, and up to 32 kWh/day after years of service or as much as one American household. UCR has around 180 ULT freezers so you can imagine the amount of energy require just to provide energy to this equipment. Luckily, new energy efficient freezers arrived on the market and they consume only 9 kWh/day.

The Stirling Freezer is one of them and does not use a typical compressor but a Stirling Engine and promise less maintenance and more reliability. If you are curious about this new type of freezer, we have several in use on campus, feel free to contact us to see one of them.

If your lab is interested in purchasing a highly energy efficient freezer, the Office for Sustainability has financial incentive to cover the cost difference between a regular freezer and an energy efficient freezer. Contact us.

We also tested three energy efficient freezers regarding energy use, performance and temperature uniformity. You can read the report here.

Ultra Low Temp.

Freezer Maintenance

An unmaintained freezer can use 12% to 25% more energy than a maintained freezer, causing the freezer compressor to have to work harder than it should and potentially decrease its life time.

A good freezer maintenance includes:

  • Checking the door seals frequently
  • Cleaning the air filter every 6 months
  • Keeping the coil clean
  • Removing items behind or on top of the freezer and that can block the air flow

If you want to know more, you can download the Cold Storage Maintenance Checklist. Feel free to post it on you ULT!

You don't know where is the air filter or to what it looks like? Watch this video :

Other good practices can save not only energy and money, but also conserve space and eliminate unnecessary equipment such as:

  • Sharing freezers with neighboring labs
  • Moving freezer to cooler location when possible
  • Labeling items and clear out unneeded materials

Freezer Defrost

Cleanup 1Defrost your ULT freezer can help to save a lot of energy but also extend the life time of your freezer by avoiding the compressor to work too hard. If your freezer has more than ½ inch of frost in a number of place, it is probably time to defrost it.

The Office of Sustainability has a DEFROST unit available to place all your samples while defrosting your ULT and other -20 freezers. This mobile unit will move building to building and will be announced by your building manager. This loan is for 1 to 2 weeks and is free of charge.

As it is a Stirling unit which is larger than typical ULT, all your racks should fit inside. Contact us or your building manager if you would need the defrost unit available in your building.

-70 is the new -80

The idea

Chilling up your ultra-low freezer from -80 to -70 has two major benefits:  it can reduce energy consumption by 30%, and in doing so it can prolong the life of your freezer.  This means less down time, and less chance that your samples will be compromised.

But is it safe to store my samples at -70?

In the majority of cases the answer is a resounding YES.  Nucleic acids can be safely stored at -20, or -70, depending on how long they need to be stored, and most proteins can be safely stored at -70.  Bacteria and viruses are also generally safe at -70.  In fact, fifteen years ago all ultra-low freezers were set to -65 or -70.  The drive to continually lower freezer temperatures has more to do with marketing and selling freezers than it has to do with science.

Has anyone else tried this?

YES.  CU-Boulder has 60% of their ultra-low freezers set to -70.  UC Davis, Harvard, Dartmouth, UCSB and UPENN are among several universities that have participated in the freezer challenge to reduce energy consumption of ultra-low freezers by chilling them up to -70.  The list of -70 is the new -80 participant can be found on this link.

In addition, the CDC recently raised the temperature on 60 of their freezers.  Information about the CDC's efforts can be found here.

Do you want to learn more?

-70 is the new -80 UCR Report

Make Wise ULT Freezer Pruchasing Decisions

  1. When purchasing new appliances for your lab, make sure to choose ones that only fit your need.
  2. Avoid purchasing a new freezer if possible. Can you clean out space in your existing unit to accommodate new samples, or share freezer space with a neighboring lab? This is a great way to save your lab money, and minimize your environmental impact.
  3. If you need to buy a new freezer, look for an efficient model:
    • Look for energy efficient freezer. Many manufacturers are realizing that energy efficiency is an increasing area of concern for consumers, and are therefore making strides to ensure their products are as efficient as possible.
    • Some highly efficient ultra-low temperature freezers utilize cutting edge technology (like a Stirling engine) that increases their cost. If your lab is interested in purchasing a highly efficient freezer, but you're running into cost concerns, check out the incentive available by the Office for Sustainability presented above. The incentive can cover a portion of the cost differential.

Sample Inventory

Having a database of samples helps prevent the build-up of old, unneeded samples.  Old samples can easily crowd out existing freezers, resulting in new freezers needing to be purchased.  Perhaps even more importantly, a database also helps identify important, precious samples that should not be discarded.

If you want to download a sample inventory check list, please click on the table below:


FreezerDid you know?

An adjustment from -80C to -70C can save 20-30% energy.

What you can do:

  • Defrost the inside and vacuum the outside of refrigerators and freezer coils annually or biannually.
  • Maintain door seals, and have posted the freezer maintenance policy.
  • Chill up our ultra-low temperature freezers.
  • Share ULT freezer space with a colleague

Check out these Videos!

Cold StorageLike the Ultra Low Temperature Freezer, -20 freezer requires attention to prevent failure, increase their longevity and save energy.

It is important to:

  1. Implement a maintenance Program such as schedule to remove frost.
  2. Maintain a sample inventory to prevent the build-up of old, unneeded samples
  3. Look for energy efficient unit and ask your local representative
  4. Purchase the right size unit for the lab
  5. Schedule a yearly maintenance to completely remove the frost

Did you know?

An unmaintained freezer can use 12% to 25% more energy than a maintained freezer.

What you can do:

  • Defrost the inside and vacuum the outside of refrigerators and freezer coils annually or biannually.
  • Ask for Energy Star appliances and instrumentation, and look for rebates before purchasing capital equipment.

Bench Top EquipmentIt all adds up!

An average life science laboratory consumes at least 3x more electricity per square foot than an office building. Where is all this energy coming from? Not surprisingly, the plug-load!

We could often underestimate the amount of energy used by the essential devices in our labs. However, abundant equipment in labs like water baths and microscopes, could be used conservatively with ease! For example: Water baths could be turned off at night and during the weekend; Microscopes are using just the appropriate amount of lighting.

Here is another quick tip: Make sure that all bench top equipment are turned off, especially during nights and weekends.

Did you know?

You could reduce the amount of energy used by bench top equipment by 51% if you check that the equipment is turned off at the end of the work day!

What you can do :

  • Turn off chilled centrifuges, ovens, heating blocks, and other equipment when not in use.
  • Make durable signs about turning equipment off.
  • Check for energy-saving modes on all pieces of equipment.
  • All computer monitors go into power-saving mode.
  • Turn off environmental rooms or incubators when not in use (after checking with others).
  • Do not use incubators as refrigerators. If incubators are not in use, have them shut down.

Good IdeaTurn it off!

There are many opportunities to reduce the amount of light that is used in your lab, and in some cases reducing the type of lighting you use can have a significant impact.

  1. We turn off overhead lights when daylight is adequate, and we turn off the lights when we leave. All know to turn off the lights whenever possible to save energy, but there is a common misconception that it's better to leave lights on all the time rather than turn them on/off in quick succession. This is not true. Click here to learn why.
  2. If more than one light switch is in a panel, we have marked the switches to indicate their function. Multiple light switches in a panel can be very confusing, and can lead to people either not using them, or using them improperly. Think about the last time you walked into a conference room and tried to navigate the seven-light-switch panel...
  3. We switch to LED or other efficient solid state source light bulbs when a bulb needs replacing. Incandescent, fluorescent, mercury, and metal halide bulbs use more energy than LEDs. This applies to overhead lights as well as to equipment lights (e.g. microscope bulbs). In all cases LEDs (or solid state lighting) are more energy efficient and last longer.

For information about LEDs click here.

For information about solid state lighting for microscopes click here.

Did you Know?

LED lights are not very expensive anymore and their life time is so much longer than other lights. Save time and money by switching to LED, even for growing plants.

What you can do:

  • Ensure that lights are turned off in sporadically used rooms, such as storage rooms, cold rooms, and microscopy rooms.
  • Turn off overhead lights when daylight is adequate, and turn off the lights when we leave.
  • If more than one light switch is in a panel, mark the switches to indicate their function.
  • Replace incandescent, fluorescent bulbs, mercury, metal halide & CFLs in equipment and in fixtures with LEDs or more efficient solid state sources when the useful life of the bulb is over

Grow LightRetrofit with LED grow light

Plant growth chambers are used to provide a modified environment for plants to grow, holding the ability to control temperature, atmospheric gas composition, and lighting etc. These growth chambers call for a heaping amount of light energy, providing light for layers and layers of plants in their system.

Integrating LED lighting into plant growth chambers offer environmental benefits such as:

  • More efficient energy use as LEDs use close to 50% less electricity
  • Produces less radiant heat and diminishes the use of cooling systems
  • Keeps same consistency in spectrum even if intensity is dimmed
  • Poses as a long-term cost and waste saving option as LEDs have a longer life time and are mercury-free

The Office of Sustainability has a financial incentive to offset the cost difference between regular fluorescent light and LED grow light.

If you are currently using a grow chamber and need to replace a light bulb, please contact us.

Did you know?

With the light on for 16h/day, switching to LED lighting could save 1,500kWh/year! Or the equivalent of 2,526 miles driven by an average car.

What you can do:

  • Consider switching to LED lighting
  • Make sure grow lights are turned off when not in use
  • Make sure your timer is working properly
  • Properly dispose of old fluorescent lights by requesting a pick up through WASTe (EHS)

Autoclave PersonConsolidate load!!

A single run of autoclave can consume up to 250 gallons of water. Whenever you need to run the autoclave, ask your coworker to combine loads!

If you want a free sticker to remind autoclave users to consolidate their load, contact us.

Autoclaves also consume a lots of water and energy when idle, but more efficient options are available on the market. If you want to learn more, take a look at UCR Autoclave Study

Did you know?

Even when not in use, an autoclave use between 1 to 2 gallons per minute for its cooling system only, or 500,000 to 1,000,000 gal per year!

What you can do:

  • When you use the autoclave, run it at full capacity and put it into standby mode when it is not in use.
  • Look for and report leaks at icemaker and autoclave drains.

Lab water saving tips

Be mindful of how you are using high quality water (deionized, reverse osmosis, distilled). Use it as sparingly as you can because for every gallon made of these highly processed waters, there is about a quart of "rejected" water sent to the drain. Those quarts add up across all of our labs over the year.

Be sure to use tap water for bulk rinsing of dirty glassware and use progressively purer water with each step, as needed.
Consider soaking rather than continuous flushing.

Reduce water usage and energy costs. Also this will improve research quality by insuring that high quality water is available for all needs.

High Quality WaterDid you know?

Reverse osmosis wastes on average 30% of water!

What you can do:

  • If adequate quality water can be obtained by DI or RO, do not use water stills.
  • Be efficient with water stills if we use them.
  • Use timers for water valves to set minimum necessary times.
  • Report leaks here.

Ice Ice BabyIce Ice Baby!

Ice makers are often used in chemical and biological labs to provide ice for experiments that require an ice bath for some reactions or for PCR.

Ice makers actually use 2-3 times more water than required to make the ice we end up using. There are laboratory ice makers that make ice, but also require another storage unit to contain the ice; this often results in water loss during this transfer process. A more sustainable option would be to purchase ice makers that both make and store the ice.

Purchase ice makers with a sustainable mind by considering the amount, shape, and size of ice your lab requires and how much space you have to store the ice.

Did you know?

Increasing water efficiency tends to lead to energy efficiency as well.

What you can do:

  • Use ice makers efficiently and only when needed.
  • Keep the door of the ice machine closed at all times.
  • Cycle off ice machines during nights and weekends.

AeratorGet in the flow:

Installing low-flow aerators on your faucets can reduce your water consumption by 50%!

Aerators are a simple apparatus that reduces the flow of water by mixing air with water right at the spigot of the faucet. Old faucets release about 5 gallons of water per minute (gpm), while a low-flow aerator can reduce this amount to less than 2.0 gpm.

Aerators can prevent the loss of water from splashes by softening the flow of water and minimize our amount of water consumption with by reducing the water flow.

Did you know?

In 2010, the FAS Green Program at Harvard University installed super low flow aerators onto 900 bathroom sinks. This lead to a remarkable 77% drop in their previous water use!

What you can do:

  • Install low-flow aerators on your faucets (less than 2.0gpm) and have them checked by the building manager for efficiency and proper function.

Single Pass CoolingPass or no pass

Single Pass Cooling systems run water through a device to absorb heat while directly disposing water down the drain without its recirculation. This system does not allow for the potential of recycling water as it consumes water for just one use before it leaves the system. Equipment that frequently use this system include autoclaves, distillers, cage washers, and mass spectrometers among many others.

Unlike the single pass cooling system, closed-loop water systems recirculate water through a closed cycle and alternates between heating and cooling without any air contact. The advantages to closed-loop water systems include a more controlled temperature in heat-producing equipment and reduced corrosion in the water pipes.

The alternative to using single pass cooling for equipment that calls for liquid cooling is to connect the system to an existing recirculated water cooling system or to purchase devices that can utilize a closed-loop cooling system.

For more information about water in a closed system, click here:

Did you know?

As of September 6th 2016, all UC campuses are required to identify any single pass cooling systems that exist in laboratories and plan for its replacement!

What you can do:

  • Reduce/eliminate single pass cooling and switch to closed-loop cooling wherever possible.
  • Replace vacuum aspirators with membrane/diaphragm/oil-free pumps.

Water MizersRetrofit your bulk sterilizers

A Water Mizer applies cold water on sterilizers or autoclaves only when needed. This device continuously monitors the equipment and can save up to 40-50 gallons of water per hour when in use!

Why use a Water Mizer?

  1. Eliminates the use of additional water to cool hot condensate during the sterilizer's non-sterilizing portion, reducing overall water consumption.
  2. Applies water only when needed.
  3. Prevents damage to PCV drain pipes because these pipes are susceptible to be damaged from hot water.

Did you know?

The use of water misers could lead to an easy 50% reduction in water consumption!

What you can do:

  • Install Water Mizers (or a similar water-saving product) on sterilizers and autoclaves.

It all adds up!!

RecyclingReuse, Reduce, Recycle

Most of the waste generated in our labs, plastics, metals, Styrofoam, paper and cardboard are recyclable.

If they are contaminated with hazardous or biohazardous materials, they can NOT be recycled and need to be disposed into the appropriate red bags/bins provided by EH&S.

Otherwise, what goes into the regular trash, can be recycled, such as:

  • Plastic - all numbers: tubes, bottles, petri dish lids, cones, pipettes and pipette's cones, plastic bags, zipper bags...
  • Metal: aluminum foils, metal boxes, metal bottles...
  • Paper and Cardboard : empty glove box, paper...

UCR piloted a Lab Recycling Program for 2 years and the results are presented here

RecyclingDid you know?

Plastic #1 to #6 are recyclable in Riverside!!

What you can do:

  • Use recyclable plastics and/or plastics containing recycled materials.
  • Have set up recycling bins for plastic, paper and metal.
  • Recycle and/or reuse cardboard.
  • Recycle and reuse paper. No page is left blank - collect clean one-sided paper and use it.

Kimberly Clarks Glove are recyclable

All nitrile gloves from Kimberly Clark can be recycled : Purple, Lavender and Sterling.

If you want to learn more, click here.

Recycle Gloves

Did you know?

Biodegradable gloves are on the market! Check this out!

What you can do:

  • If you are using Kimberly Clark gloves, contact us and we will provide you a bin to collect them and all the information you need to request a pick from EHS

StyrofoamReduce, Reuse and then Recycle your Styrofoam Coolers

The two following companies have a pay-back program which allow you to ship back Styrofoam coolers for free in order to reuse them. You just have to drop them off at the receiving room of your building.

If they do not come from Sigma or New England, you can dispose all non-contaminated Styrofoam coolers into the appropriate bins located on campus.

Map of Styrofoam Collection Bins Location map.

Be sure to place ONLY Styrofoam COOLERS – no peanuts, no coffee cups or plates etc...

Did you know?

Some buildings on campus can trash more than 100 Styrofoam Coolers per month!

What you can do:

  • Purchase products with reduced packaging or recycled packaging
  • Give priority to companies that have a buy-back program for their packaging

RecycleReuse, Reduce, Recycle

  1. Reduce your waste stream as much as you can.
    Ex: Surplus chemical program, equipment and material inventory
  2. Reuse items and materials to extend their useful life.
    Ex: Take back program
  3. Recycle

Did you know?

According to the audits of UCSB Lab Building, more than half of waste coming out of labs is actually recyclable material.

What you can do:

  • Re-use disposable plastic and glass items, and we minimize the use of disposable items where applicable.
  • Use compostable and/or biodegradable plastics whenever possible.
  • Use glass pipettes and wash them using a Steris Pipette washing rack.
  • Redistribute unwanted equipment and furniture.
  • Maintain an inventory of supplies and equipment.
  • Consolidate purchases to reduce packaging waste; we eliminate small purchase orders below $100 whenever possible.
  • Use vendor equipment buy-back programs.

Glass DisposalGlass

Broken glass is not recyclable at UCR. Because of the presence of Pyrex glass which require a higher boiling point than regular glass, the recycling facility does not collect glass ware from laboratory.

Did you know?

Every year, custodians are injured by broken glass placed into regular trash.

What you can do:

  • Be sure to place all your glass and broken glass into the appropriate cardboard box.

EHS recycles the following materials:

  • Battery : EHS has containers for batteries collections in various locations on campus. If you want to find the closest location, click on this map. For more information and protocol, please visit EHS website.

    Recyle Batteries
  • Light Bulb : They can be collected by EHS after you submitted a pickup request on WASTe

The Storehouse collect Electronic Waste

If you have less than 5 items, you can submit a pickup request @ Storehouse.

If you have more, you will need to place a work order to request a pick up. For more information, please Storehouse website.

Printer Toner and Ink Cartridge

UCR Staff Assembly has partnered with to participate in the Printer Toner and Ink Cartridge Recycling Program. By sending in your empty ink and toner cartridges, you can help the environment and help raise money to support Staff Assembly's variety of programs.
To participate, send your empty, name brand cartridges (no generic cartridges, please) via campus mail to:
Janna LeBlanc
Winston Chung Hall 446

Did you know?

Batteries, mercury and metal halide bulbs are hazardous materials that need to be properly disposed to prevent health issue and environmental contamination.

What you can do:

  • Be familiar with WASTe
  • Have a battery recycling container in your building
  • Properly dispose all the hazardous wastes you used in your lab

Hazardous WastePrevent damaging human health and the environment

By definition, hazardous waste from the lab has the potential to damage human health and the environment. Employing methods to minimize the use of hazardous materials, as well as taking the proper precautions when handling them, will ensure that your lab makes a minimal impact on the environment.

Minimizing the use of hazardous materials could start with the effort in purchasing products with reduced toxicity and less hazardous chemicals. Making sure to properly dispose of them will also limit contamination to the environment.

If you know you will be handling hazardous materials, it is essential to devise the course of these hazardous materials from the moment it is shipped in, to the moment it is recycled out / disposed.

Check out this video on being mercury free!

Did you know?

Hazardous, radioactive, biohazardous, and medical waste could be picked up upon request! Click here for more information.

What you can do:

  • Properly dispose of mercury and metal halide bulbs and CFLs.
  • Evaluate Red Bag waste practices if applicable. Be sure to place ALL hazardous and biohazardous waste inside the red Bag and follow EHS recommendations
  • Avoid mixing hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste.

Green the way

Green chemistry is defined as "the invention, design, and application of chemical products and processes to reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances" - The resources listed below will help you identify safe, sustainable substitutes for several commonly used chemicals.  You may be surprised to learn that many of these substitutes are not only better for the environment - they're also better for your wallet.

What you can do:

  • Purchase products with reduced toxicity and less hazardous chemicals.
  • Exchange/purchase spirit thermometers to replace mercury thermometers.
  • Avoid the use of mercury-based products.
  • Have all of your chemical containers well-labeled with contents and date of arrival.
  • Store your chemicals in approved and secure locations and dispose them properly.
  • Replace hazardous chemicals with green or less hazardous chemicals when possible.
  • Maintain and review your chemical inventory to prevent over-purchasing

TravelYour travels to work count!

A considerable amount of our personal carbon footprint comes from our methods of travel. Nowadays, our modes of transportation have greatly diversified: we have the option of riding by shuttle, bike, carpools, or a combinations of these! Whether it is the miles of travel made to and from work, or that short drive to your favorite break spot, we are constantly counting on some form of energy to get us going. Let us choose to use sustainable and renewable energy as much as possible!

Also, it is possible to make any travels by flight more sustainable! For example:

  1. Take public transportation or shuttle service to the airport for business travel.
  2. Buy carbon offsets when feasible for business air travel
  3. Only ship overnight or "rush" when absolutely necessary

Did you know?

Flying from Los Angeles to Chicago produces 1.05 tons of CO2, as much as 95 homes in one year

What you can do:

  • Regularly carpool, ride your bikes, or take public transportation.
  • Create an area to posting information about rideshares, alternative transportation, bike to work options, and alternative to business travel.
  • Use teleconferencing or videoconferencing instead of flying to meet with other researchers.

Work with a Green Style

Field work requires a unique sensitivity to the environment. While conducting our field work, we should always remember that we are entering the homes of various organisms.

It is important that our fieldwork is conducted without harming or changing the settings and inhabitants of the organisms under our study; preserving the field site is of tantamount importance to the research. Research starts from the setting of our natural environment as it is! Therefore, we should always be at work with a green thumb!

Some simple steps to doing so include being cautious about what, where, and how materials and/or lab chemicals are being handled if brought out to the field . Lowering the amount of impact on the field by minimizing or eliminating the use of disposable equipment, and only using the appropriate amount of natural resources needed. For example: reduce water use by using water-conserving technology (e.g. drip hoses) and watering at appropriate times during the day.

FieldworkDid you know?

Marine animals that ingest plastics receive two times as much chemical ingredients because plastics absorb pollutants like DDT and PCB.

What you can do:

  • Use reusable or recyclable staking/flagging material.
  • Account for and recover all staking/flagging materials and all batteries and electronics deployed in the field.
  • Use electronic data collection instead of paper whenever possible.
  • Have a protocol in place to ensure we don't leave a trace after lab research activities.

CommunityIt doesn't stop outside of the Lab

The concept of a sustainable lab reaches beyond the four walls of the lab itself - it extends into the community. A sustainable lab shares best practices with other labs in order to help more labs become 'green'. A sustainable lab also has a positive impact on the local community, engaging people outside of the scientific community with discussions about new scientific discoveries.

Becoming a more 'green' lab poses as a chance to introduce new activities and creative events for your community! Here are some examples:

  1. Participate in other Sustainable Programs such Green Office, Farmshare Program or the Community Garden
  2. Challenge other lab teams by hosting friendly sustainability competitions.
  3. Encourage the use of re-usable mugs, cups, plates, silverware, etc. for daily staff use
  4. Lab-sponsored events are zero waste (no garbage; only compostable and recyclable items). This means having the appropriate bins to collect them also.

Did you know?

Every year, Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups.

What you can do:

  • Appoint a lab member as an Eco Leader, who cares about resource consumption in laboratories and would like to volunteer to encourage the efficient use of energy, water, and material goods in his or her lab.
  • Establish a method to collect feedback on sustainability-related issues in the workplace.
  • Develop cordial relationships with custodians, ventilation, and electrical maintenance staff along with EH&S department

Why become a Green Laboratory?

Without question, laboratories are important centers of intellectual innovation and discovery in our society.  However, they also consume large amounts of energy, water, and materials goods. The UCR Green Labs Program is working with these labs to promote the efficient use of energy, water, and materials by:

  1. Involving individual laboratory members in identifying opportunities for efficiency in their laboratory and promoting efficient behavior among laboratory members
  2. Upgrading inefficient laboratory equipment and techniques
  3. Compelling labs to turn equipment off when not in use, and to retire unnecessary or duplicate equipment
  4. Developing means to reduce the flow of lab materials into the waste stream
  5. Raising awareness about the large resource footprint of laboratories

How to become a Green Lab Certified?

Applying for the Green Lab Certification is easy!

  • Phase 1: First, the lab must appoint an Eco Leader who will serve as the representative for the lab and main contact with the Green Lab Coordinator.
  • Phase 2: The Eco Leader fills out the online survey, which can take 30 minutes or less to complete. It is always possible to save your answers and come back later, if necessary. After the survey is submitted, the Green Lab Coordinator will review it and provide a preliminary score and recommendation for further greening our laboratory.
  • Phase 3: The Green Lab Coordinator will coordinate a Survey Review with the lab, presenting the results and recommendations - This process can take 40 to 60 minutes.

Then, the lab has the option to accept certification directly or to benefit a one month extension to implement the recommendation and retake the survey to enhance the lab's score.

Certification Scale:

40% - 49% Lab Certified
50% - 59% Silver
60% - 79% Gold
above 80% Platinum

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Office of Sustainability
University Village
1223 University Avenue, Suite 200P

Tel: (951) 827-1270
Fax: (951) 827-3890

Related Links