24 May 2023

Labs set first step towards sustainability

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One year ago, the Hubrecht Institute enrolled in the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) initiative to make the institute more sustainable. Ten labs now successfully set a first step towards this goal and received a Bronze certificate from the Hubrecht Green Team for their efforts.

The Hubrecht Green Team was brought to life with the aim to make our institute more environmentally friendly. In the end, scientific research depends on devices that require a lot of energy and generate a lot of waste. It is estimated that laboratories produce 2% of global plastic waste and use up to ten times the amount of energy compared to a typical office. To improve this, the committee, consisting of employees from different departments, is focusing on five main intervention areas: energy, waste, water, mobility and IT. The efforts are part of a bigger initiative that is happening in several institutes in the Netherlands spearheaded by Green Labs NL.


Part of the plans is to make the research groups of the institute aware of their day-to-day contribution. For this, 17 labs (including one from the Westerdijk Institute) signed up for the LEAF initiative. This program provides guidelines and tools to save plastics, energy and other resources in the laboratory. Based on their efforts and success, labs are awarded with Bronze, Silver or Gold certificates.


Ten labs now received a Bronze certificate for their efforts. They successfully took actions, such as placement of recycling bins with proper signing, to reduce their environmental footprint. In addition, these labs put procedures in place to explain sustainable practices to new employees and clear materials left by departing staff. The Hubrecht is determined to continue its efforts with the goal of making the institute a more sustainable place.