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Sustainability

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As part of the University of Edinburgh's Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy the School of Chemistry is committed to the S-labs model promoted by the higher education environmental performance improvement (HEEPI) programme.

S-LABS – a SAFE, SUCCESSFUL, and SUSTAINABLE - workplace making your aspirations achievable in a manner fit for the challenges of the 21st Century.

Sustainable development is an important aspect of the 21st century economy and society, and is increasingly reflected in scientific and technical research. It is also espoused by most lab operators. However, there is often a disconnect between these aspirations and activities and day to day laboratory life.

Higher education laboratories are also important places for influencing the attitudes and behaviour of the staff and students who work and study in them. Their future careers will provide many opportunities to contribute to both the research and innovation which is needed to create sustainable lifestyles and technologies, and to broader public and policy debates. Hence, more sustainable labs are a vital element in meeting the world's economic, environmental and social challenges in coming decades.

By participating in the Green Impacts Awards the School of Chemistry aims to bring together staff and students to improve the safety and sustainability of your working environment.

These pages highlight some of the past and recent actions that you and the school have achieved towards these aims as well as highlighting our broader social responsibility achievements.

Recent Highlights

Chemical Manager

Using Chemical Manager to track chemical purchases and usage throughout the department. Chemicals are a major purchasing item and ERM allows the school to track chemicals from “cradle to grave”.

Since implementation this has saved the school and researchers £100k.  As well as reducing the number of chemicals stored in the building hence savings in disposal costs of > £20k.

Gas Provision

Provision of house nitrogen gas preventing handling and movement of heavy gas cylinders as well as reducing the number of liquid nitrogen deliveries from 3 to 1 per week.

Savings of approximately £30,000 per annum as well as reducing health and safety concerns.

Ongoing Work

  • Provision of Fair Trade tea, coffee and sugar to users of the Museum Café.
  • In conjunction with the University wide recycling steams the school was first to implement glass, plastic, cardboard and wood recycling streams.
  • Fitted electronic timers to glass drying ovens
  • Supply of an alternative low bleach white photocopying paper for bulk printing.

More Information

For regular school sustainability updates, please check our noticeboard (start of main corridor) and our quarterly newsletters. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, please email us at the address below or pop into Room 246 for a chat!