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In his role as Laboratory Manager at King’s College London, Bernard Freeman has embedded sustainability into all aspects of research management. He pioneered a sample tracking software which has increased energy and cost efficiency of cold storage by maximising capacity and ensuring quick identification of samples by researchers.
Bernard also established and developed a centralised purchasing system for 200 different types of laboratory consumables. This system has resulted in lower emissions from deliveries, a reduction in waste from over-purchasing, and increased time and cost efficiency.
Recognising the lack of training for both staff and students with respect to sustainable practice in laboratories, he engaged the University Sustainability Team to develop training materials. Energy efficiency and sustainable management of waste and resources now form a key component of inducting researchers into his laboratory, and staff leaving the laboratory have continued these practices in laboratories beyond King’s College London.
Top 3 learnings:
1 Championing sustainable science to peers and senior management is vital to achieving significant changes.
2 Laboratory sustainability does not only benefit the environment, but also improves research efficiency.
3 Sustainability improves working environments for researchers, and often has positive knock-on effects in their communities.
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