Apr 22 2022 Posted: 08:00 IST

‘Earth Day’ launch of Irish Green Labs

Over 100 laboratories across Ireland are pursuing green laboratory programmes and practices

April 22 2022, Galway, Ireland: NUI Galway has played a leading role in forming Irish Green Labs, an all-island network to promote best practices to make research labs greener.

CÚRAM is proud to support a voluntary collective of lab professionals, forming an all-island network called Irish Green labs. Their shared ambition is to minimise the negative impact that laboratories on the island are known to be having on the environment.  All sectors of society are dependent on laboratory services. Similar to data centres, laboratories use constant and significant amounts of energy; additionally, they contribute high volumes of waste in the form of single-use plastics and hazardous chemicals.

This evidence-based network of individuals, institutions and industries created on the island of Ireland will be an open platform supporting green lab practices locally and globally, acting as a catalyst for the system-level change that is essential for us to meet the challenges of mandatory carbon zero targets.

Following the Oireachtas approval of the national carbon budget on 6 April 2022, the breakdown of this budget into sectoral budgets is expected to be presented to the Government by the end of June 2022.  The implementation of these legally binding targets by institutions will be crucial if targets are to be met, as public sector bodies will be required to reduce their absolute energy-related emissions by at least 51% by 2030.  With labs accounting for 30-50% of energy-related emissions in many institutions, they will have a significant role to play in meeting decarbonisation targets in the Republic of Ireland.

Notably, the Irish Green Labs initiative aligns with the UNFCCC’s ‘race-to-zero’ report, published by the 2021 UNFCCC champions Nigel Topping (UK) and Gonzalez Munoz (Chile). The champions recommended that “95% of labs across major pharma and med-tech companies are My Green Lab certified at the green level by 2030” (https://racetozero.unfccc.int/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/2020-Breakthroughs-Upgrading-our-sytems-together.pdf).

Current IGL member organisations include Atlantic Technological University, Foras na Mara (Marine Institute), HSE Public Analyst Laboratory (Dublin and Cork), NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University of Ulster, Queen’s University Belfast.  The initiative has also been endorsed by the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine, Dementia Research Network Ireland, Educational Procurement Services, the HSE Estates Climate Action & Sustainability Office, Irish Doctors for the Environment, and Neuroscience Ireland.

For more information, contact info@irishgreenlabs.org.

Twitter: @irishgreenlabs.

Phone: Una FitzGerald, 087 2022013

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