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University to assist laboratories to reduce emissions and energy consumption

20 April 09

The University of Bradford's Ecoversity project, will be working in collaboration with the UK Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement (HEEPI) project, and the US Labs21 initiative at a number events held across the UK and Europe.

The events will highlight the need to make European laboratories more sustainable, due to their current high carbon footprint. They will be held at the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Universities of Bradford, Cambridge and Edinburgh, in the UK; the ACHEMA trade conference in Frankfurt; and the Labs21 conference in Indianapolis.

Three of the UK events will feature key note speaker Allen Doyle, the founder of the award winning LabRats (Laboratory Research and Technical Staff) programme at the University of California. The Greening STEM (Sustainability in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Curriculum) and Sustainable Laboratory events will focus on how sustainability can be introduced into the academic curriculum of laboratory-based subjects. They will include an energy awareness campaign, a waste exchange and develop a template for a student audit of their laboratory's environmental performance. 

Director, HEEPI, Professor Peter James said: "Many new and refurbished laboratories are extremely energy and water intensive and are becoming more so as ventilation and cooling requirements increase. This means high carbon emissions and running costs. This reduces funds that could be devoted to actual research and development.

"Failing to consider sustainability creates problems such as excessively high rates of air change; over-sizing and poor integration of services; poor control of cooling, heating and lighting; chilling ambient air rather than directly cooling equipment; and absence of efficiency features such as energy recovery. Measures to overcome these problems can save money, and often enhance safety and performance."

Director, Education for Sustainable Development at the University of Bradford, Dr Peter Hopkinson said: "Science research and education has a massive carbon footprint and environmental impact as a result of the resources used in laboratories. LabRats is a highly innovative example of how scientists of the future can be educated about how to reduce their footprint and impact."  

For more details of the Sustainable Laboratories initiative, please visit or

Event outline
The Sustainable Laboratory
Monday 27 April 2009, 12 -17.00 FREE (But tickets must be booked via
Royal Society of Chemistry,
Burlington House,

Greening STEM - Sustainability in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Curriculum
Tuesday 28 April 2009 9.45-16.45 FREE (But tickets must be booked via
The University of Bradford
Richmond Campus
Richmond Road

The Sustainable Laboratory
Friday 1 May 2009, 9.30 -3.30 FREE (But tickets must be booked via
University of Edinburgh,
The King's Buildings
Mayfield Road

Cutting Energy Use with Variable Air Volume (VAV) in Labs, Hospitals and Other Heavily Serviced Spaces
Thursday 14 May, 10.30 -16.30 FREE (But tickets must be booked via
The University of Cambridge

THE ACHEMA trade conference is also running sessions on sustainable laboratories on May 11-15, including a panel discussion on possible European initiatives on May 13.

20 April 09

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Further information for Media Enquirers

For further information please contact the University of Bradford Press Office on 01274 23 3089/3084.

Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail or fax on (01274) 236280.