Green Labs | Recognising excellence in sustainable science

Over the summer, the Green Labs Team were pleased to announce that the Churchill Building on Langford Campus has achieved Gold LEAF certification. The Churchill Building is made up of smaller research laboratories as well as the veterinary teaching labs, therefore the whole Veterinary School is now Gold LEAF accredited. LEAF CERTIFICATE

Whilst the audit was requested for a Silver award, it was clear that the technical team under Sharon Holt had gone above and beyond Silver criteria, resulting in the awarding of a Gold LEAF award, the highest of the tiers of LEAF certification. This certification will last for three years and is a huge step towards achieving the University-wide 100% Silver LEAF certification.  

 When asked about the Vet School’s achievement, Sharon Holt said “Holder of Bronze, aiming for Silver then achieving Gold is amazing! This was not just a team effort but a whole School effort as everyone must buy into our goal, which is to continue to work toward our Climate Action Plans to reduce its carbon emissions in response to the climate and ecological emergency”.
Some of the initiatives that helped them reach Gold certification include: 

  • A complete freezer cataloguing and clean-out operation to clear old, unusable samples and consolidate freezers. This is allowing them to eliminate several large, energy-hogging freezers. 
  • Careful monitoring of their DI water system – they have just one shared machine for decanting to reduce redundancy and waste. They also collect any wastewater and use it to rinse glassware, reducing water usage. 
  • Providing students and staff with reusable lab kits for home practise. This avoids a lot of plastic waste from single-use consumables, as many of the practicals from the teaching lab must be sterile. 

Much of the credit goes to Sharon Holt and her diligent tech team for implementing these changes, with the support from Stuart Pope, Operations Manager, who is the coordinator for the School’s Climate Action Plan. Their work is an inspiration and model for other labs to follow.

Please contact our Green Labs team at  to conduct an audit for your lab so we can work towards 100% Silver LEAF certification for the University by early 2024. 


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