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Universities are leading sustainability research, but the research itself, particularly in laboratories, is a significant burden on the environment. The equipment used is energy intensive and the use of single-use plastic consumables is rampant. As Lab Manager in the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), I made the decision to champion lab sustainability and change the impact of labs for the better. Despite sustainability not being part of my role I volunteered my time to implement the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) accreditation and achieved our first ever award of silver status at the ESI (which has since progressed to gold standard).
I have also coordinated the development of the Exeter Sustainable Labs Team, providing a support network so all lab users can feel empowered to play their part and make environmentally friendly decisions. I am proud to say my work has made lab sustainability a priority for the University of Exeter.
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