The Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering have achieved the University's first Silver and Gold awards through the externally recognised standard for lab sustainability, Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) for their Teaching Lab 2.14 in 2 East.

Having achieved Bronze certification in September 2023, the lab team were motivated to spur on to the highest levels straight away. Their efforts paid off with the achievement of both Silver and Gold levels at the same time.

LEAF has a key focus on maintaining research quality with actions required taken across a range of categories, including: embedding processes, training and education to support change; efficient use of equipment, resources and consumables; effective waste and water management; and sample and chemical management.

Actions taken by this lab have targeted all of these criteria with particular efforts taken on reducing procurement of consumables, re-designing projects and experimental procedures for taught laboratory courses, and implementing efficient processes to manage and maintain minimal levels of consumables. To achieve Gold though, efforts must be taken to extend a culture of sustainability beyond the lab itself and the auditors for this lab were pleased to see that this included actions within all associated office spaces as well as in support of efforts in other labs to embed sustainability.

The submission was led by Technical Supervisor Jack Howell, who said "We're extremely pleased to have been awarded the first Gold certification in the University. At first, the list of criteria seemed a little daunting but upon starting submission I found that we already met or exceeded many of them. The remaining criteria proved very useful in highlighting areas we needed to be stronger in and the process as a whole was very informative. Thank you to Alice and all of the other LEAF admins for driving the scheme forwards."

Dave Wood, Technical Manager and Climate Advocate in the Faculty of Engineering & Design, said "I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate Jack and the Electronic & Electrical Engineering team on this fantastic achievement! We are working hard across the faculty to overcome the significant sustainability challenges we face in obtaining LEAF accreditation for all of our labs. I have no doubt that this case will not only help to inspire colleagues who are preparing their own submissions, but also provides us with an invaluable learning experience to take us forwards."