“All the good practice we do now precedes the policy in the future” – Martin Farley at FBMH’s Environmental Sustainability Showcase 2024

by | Jun 19, 2024 | Environmental Sustainability (ES) | 0 comments

 The Faculty recently held its second Environmental Sustainability (ES) showcase, following on from the success of last year’s event. The annual showcase brought together over 60 staff and students from across the University to highlight the Faculty’s progress in embedding ES within its operations and activities. The event also aims to create a positive culture around ES, uplifting and inspiring one another to take sustainable action.

Hosted by Dr Maggy Fostier, Associate Dean for ES, the showcase welcomed back Martin Farley, newly appointed Associate Director of Environment and Sustainability at UKRI and co-founder of the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) adopted by the University to improve the sustainability of our research activities.

To kickstart the afternoon, Maggy provided an update on the Faculty’s LEAF statistics, with highlights including 81% of Principal Investigators (PIs) having a LEAF champion in their laboratory and 45% with a LEAF certification. During his keynote lecture, titled ‘Sustainability in Research Going Forward’, Martin emphasised the significant environmental impact of laboratory practices and proposed strategies for improvement (see blog on concordat). These involve sustainable procurement, developing and implementing evidence based greener practices (see blog on ULTs), making the most of funding opportunities for research in this area, and fostering a culture of sustainability within our staff force and throughout the education pipeline.

“All the good practice we do now precedes the policy in the future” – Martin Farley

Martin’s talk sparked a series of lively discussions amongst attendees, sharing sustainability challenges and potential solutions from their own labs (recording to be added shortly on YouTube). 

A variety of stalls were on display following the talk, facilitating further conversations and knowledge exchange. These included:

  • our 6R guide to reduce plastics in labs, at home and on campus.
  • LEAF with green tips for labs and a ULT focus.
  • sustainable practices at the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).
  • Trees for Life, featuring several interactive activities, such as origami plant pot making and tree matching activities.
  • biodiversity on campus through our iNaturalist project

Closing the showcase two undergraduate students presented findings from their final year ES projects. Ornella Trombetta and Nien-Yu Yang (Sunny) both conducted lab projects, investigating green standard operating procedures to improve the sustainability of cell culture and sustainable detergent alternatives for immune-fluorescence experiments, respectively. 

The showcase provided a platform for learning and engagement, where attendees left with a deeper understanding of how the Faculty is fulfilling its strategy (see Associate Dean ES statement) and inspiring them to reflect on their own sustainable practices.

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