LEAF 2023 Update: FBMH Labs Embrace Sustainability with Pioneering Champions

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Environmental Sustainability (ES), Guest Authors | 0 comments

Blog by Eemaan Memon, Project Officer for Environmental Sustainability, FBMH

One of the greatest successes of 2023 has been the implementation of sustainable lab practices across the Faculty. Our labs are home to world-leading and aspiring scientists, serving as hubs for scientific innovation and knowledge exchange, however, they contribute significantly to energy consumption and plastic waste production. Two tools , LEAF Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) and 6R (Review, Reduce, Reuse Refill, Replace, Recycle), address this by instilling simple, yet impactful changes to everyday lab practices.   

Throughout the year, Dr. Maggy Fostier, aided by three PhD students: Gold LEAF Champion: Isobel Taylor Hearn, 6R champion: Connor Willis, and ES project officer: Eemaan Memon, have hosted interactive LEAF training workshops, providing lab users with the knowledge and tools needed to enhance ES in their labs.

Once a lab has made significant progress towards instilling sustainable practices, they are able to apply for a LEAF award. FBMH LEAF auditors then come to audit the lab and award either a gold, silver or bronze LEAF certification.  

The University aims for all its labs to achieve a minimum bronze LEAF certification by 2025 and for all Principal Investigators (PIs) to have a LEAF champion within their lab. In January 2023, our Faculty had only a handful of LEAF champions and LEAF certifications.

As we enter 2024, thanks to the hard-work and dedication of our ES team, trainers, and champions from our FBMH sustainable lab network, we have recruited 118 LEAF champions, have 26% of labs (PIs) LEAF certified, and trained 135 people.

All our LEAF champions are demonstrating a great commitment to transform their lab into a greener operation. A common challenge is for champions in a large space shared by several groups. Some champions have decided to overcome this by working together, creating a snowball effect. This is the case for the Cardio Vascular research groups on the 5th floor of AV Hill, where the collective passion and drive of the LEAF champions have yielded impressive results, with two Silver and one Bronze LEAF awards – and there’s more to come this year!

Pictured from left to right: Sukhpal Prehar, Liqun Zhang, Tim Rainey and Connor Stonall.

A heartfelt congratulations for LEAF champions, Sukhpal Prehar, from the Oceandy and Cartwright Groups, Liqun Zhang from the Keavney Group, and Connor Stonall, representing the Kitmotto Group, who have played pivotal roles in spearheading the sustainable revolution within their labs. 

Their influence extends beyond their immediate groups, creating a ripple effect that resonates throughout their lab space on the 5th floor. These champions are not only catalysts for change within their own labs but are also inspiring neighbouring research groups to embark on the LEAF certification journey, contributing to a more sustainable future. The collaborative spirit and motivational atmosphere they have cultivated are undeniably infectious.

In the face of environmental challenges, these LEAF champions embody the transformative power of collective action. By fostering a culture of sustainability within FBMH, they are not just recipients of accolades; they are pioneers shaping a greener, more responsible future for research and academia. Let their achievements serve as a testament to what can be accomplished when individuals unite for a shared purpose, creating a legacy of positive change for generations to come.

If you would like to join us on our mission to make our labs more sustainable, please sign up to our FBMHS-LEAF002 Improving sustainability in the lab with LEAF and 6R, with various dates available in the new year.

If you would like to become a LEAF champion for your group or lab space, please complete this registration form.

Interested to learn more about LEAF? Why not take a look at other blogs in our series:

Sign up to receive the FBMH ES newsletter by contacting srbmh@manchester.ac.uk. Read our previous editions: June and October 2023

To find out more about Environmental Sustainability: visit the Faculty’s intranet pagewebsite or contact srbmh@manchester.ac.uk to sign up to our ES Good Newsletter. For more information on Environmental Sustainability at the University watch this short film or visit our website


LEAF 2023 Update: FBMH Labs Embrace Sustainability with Pioneering Champions

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Environmental Sustainability (ES), Guest Authors | 0 comments

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