Alongside the content and impact of our research, we are also considering the carbon impact of the way we conduct that research. In September 2021, we launched a pilot of LEAF (Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) working with labs from across our faculties.
Since then, we have already made a number of achievements:
- the Frost/Taylor laboratory were the first lab on campus to achieve LEAF bronze accreditation
- MC² achieved bronze certification for 100% of their labs in August 2022
- ultra-low temperature freezers (ULTs) were warmed up from -80°C to 70°C in 2023 in the Departments of Health and Life Sciences, saving an estimated 30% of their energy use
- more than 50 labs from eight departments have now signed up to LEAF
If your lab is interested in joining LEAF, please contact the Climate Action team for an informal discussion.
We have taken the opportunity to consider how carbon considerations are embedded in our research ethics approach and have provided guidance to support researchers to quantify and minimise the carbon emissions in preparation of research proposals.
Moving forward with implementation of the Climate Action Framework we continue to support and encourage use of the university campus and community in Living Lab research. The transition to a low carbon campus and the decarbonisation of our heating provide real life opportunities to benefit from our own research. For example, in developing an approach to embedding low carbon in our building and refurbishment projects we have drawn on the depth and breadth of expertise in our own Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering.