Skip to main content
Graduate student conducts research, Division of Biological Science's Pasquinelli Lab

Green Your Lab

“Green Labs” is the primary term used for programs that help laboratories reduce their footprints without compromising research quality or safety. This team-based approach focuses on minimizing the use of energy, water, and materials while improving efficiency.

UC San Diego’s Green Labs program was formed in 2013 and its efforts engage laboratory faculty, staff and students in performing assessments, reducing waste and improving recycling, replacing inefficient equipment and transitioning to best practices.

Meetings

The Green Labs team meets the second Wednesday of the month at 9–10 a.m. in BRFII 5A03.

ChemCycle: good for your research, your budget and the environment

Environment, Health & Safety operates Chemcycle, UC San Diego's chemical recycling program that allows researchers to obtain free chemicals and donate usable surplus chemicals.

Learn About Chemcycle

ChemCycle graphic

Goal

To assist labs in reducing their resource use and improving education and engagement efforts around these themes:

  • Electricity
  • Lighting
  • Cold storage and freezer management
  • Fume hoods and ventilation
  • Water
  • Inventory management
  • Recycling
  • Waste reduction
  • Hazardous waste disposal
  • Green chemistry
  • Travel
  • Field work (leave no trace)
  • Community (sharing BP’s; engaged scholarship)
  • Purchasing
  • Leveraging incentive/rebate programs
  • Utility usage reporting (transparency)
  • Autoclaves/Glass washing
  • Education (integrating Green Lab practices into UCSD classrooms)

Partner: My Green Lab

My Green Lab is fundamentally and permanently improving the sustainability of scientific research. A California 501(c)(3) nonprofit, they were formed to unify and lead scientists, vendors, designers, energy providers and others in a common drive toward a world in which all research reflects the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility. Run “for scientists, by scientists,” they leverage their credibility and track record to develop standards, oversee their implementation and inspire the positive behavioral changes throughout the scientific community.

My Green Lab developed the Green Lab Assessment Tool that UC San Diego’s Green Labs Certification Program uses, in partnership with UC Davis, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and UC San Francisco. This assessment delineates the key components of a safe, sustainable laboratory and encourages implementation of best practices.

UC Connection

All UC campuses have, or are developing, Green Lab Certification programs to incentivize and reward researchers who adopt more sustainable lab practices. Through energy use audits, equipment replacement and implementing operational best practices, these certification programs can achieve significant energy savings.

Team Members

Member Title Department
Scott Asbach Safety Officer Division of Biological Sciences
Jordan Blondelle Post Doctoral Research Fellow Medicine
Jennifer Bowser Sustainability Program Coordinator Sustainability
Sandra Correa-Garhwal Buyer IPPS Life Sciences
Kaitlin Creamer Grad Student SIO
JP Cruz Supplier Relations Manager Core Bio Services/Lab Support Services
Reiko Cullum Lab Manager SIO
John Dilliott Associate Director, Energy & Utility Services Facilities Managment, Energy
Debbie Durand Vivarium Safety Officer Office of Animal Research
Antony Esquer Sr Buyer BFS-Procurement/Constracts
Valerie Fanning Environmental Compliance Officer Environmental Health & Safety
Sasha Gardner Assistant Safety Officer Division of Biological Sciences
Stephen George Safety Officer Chemistry & Biochemistry
Ken Hall Director of Facilities Operations & Planning SIO
Robbie Jacob Receiving & Distribution Supervisor Material Suppport Services
Jonathan Joyce Research Assistance Program Supervisor Environmental Health & Safety
Jason Kayne Assistant Director Facilities Management, Building Services
Will Landry Student Intern Sustainability
Stephan Lange Assistant Adjunct Professor School of Medicine
Laura Layman PhD Student Pathology
Andrew Le Regulatory Compliance Analyst Environmental Health & Safety
Anna Levitt Energy Director UC San Diego Health, Facilities Engineering
Allyson Long Scripps Safety Coordinator SIO
Sara McKinstry Sustainability Manager Sustainability
Amy Moore Safety Officer Research Assistance Program, EH&S
Chuck Morgan Director Facilities Management, Landscaping & Waste
Ian Nicastro Lab Manager Division of Biological Sciences
Mark Ortiz Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Integrated Procure-to-Pay Solutions
Allison Paradise Executive Director My Green Lab
Michelle Perez Associate Energy Director Facilities Management
Camie Perkins Student Intern Sustainability
Kate Phin Environmental Affairs Division Manager Environmental Health & Safety
Paolo Resurreccion Buyer IPPS
Jose Reynoso Senior Custodian Supervisor UCSD Building Services
Dan Ronquillo Interim Director Core Bio Services/Lab Support Services
Rina Salanga Lab Manager Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceuticals
Lance Scott Research Safety Manager Environmental Health & Safety
Ken Shafer Principal Facilities Manager Medicine
Quiana Stodder Student Intern Facilities Management
Jennifer Stowe Laboratory Manager Bioengineering
Dave Weil Director of Campus Carbon Neutrality Program Sustainability
Haim Weizman Professor Chemistry & Biochemistry

Green Lab Certification

Do you turn off lights when you leave for the day, print double-sided and have your computer set to “sleep” instead of displaying a screen saver? If so, you’re on your way to becoming a certified lab! The assessment survey recognizes the good practices you have in place already and allows us to provide simple suggestions to help your laboratory become a safer, more sustainable workplace.

A lab can add this formal certification to grant applications to leverage its commitment to sustainability. And, certified labs receive several additional certification incentives.

Steps to Getting Green Labs Certified

  1. Schedule a 15-minute appointment at your lab to discuss the Green Labs certification process.
  2. The UC San Diego Green Labs certification team will send you the online survey assessment.
  3. Once 50% of your lab’s full-time staff (anyone working 30 hours/week or more) have completed the survey, our consultant will calculate the results to determine the certification score.
  4. Schedule a time for the UC San Diego Green Labs certification team to present the assessment results to your lab members.
  5. After the certification team presents to your lab, it will make any adjustments to the lab’s certification score based on meeting notes. The team will send an email notification that includes:
    • The lab’s final certification score
    • A copy of the PowerPoint assessment presentation
    • PDF certificate
    • Photo of lab members taken during the presentation (if applicable)
    • The certified Green Labs logo to add to your email signature and/or lab website
  6. Certified labs are recognized at UC San Diego's Annual Sustainability Awards ceremony.

Questions? Email greenlabs@ucsd.edu.

Certified Labs

Certification Level Lab
Platinum
Gold
Silver
Bronze
Green

Resources

Laboratory Recycling Signage

Recycling Programs for Lab Materials (e.g., pipette tip boxes, Styrofoam containers, etc.):

  • Corning
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific (formerly Life Technologies) Styrofoam Container and Gel Pack Reuse Program – You can drop off your clean Styrofoam coolers and gel packs next to the UC San Diego Core Bio Services receiving doors and they will return them to Thermo Fisher Scientific for reuse.

Lab Products and Equipment

  • ACT Label – green lab products
  • Ethidium Bromide Alternatives
  • UC San Diego Core Bio Services offers high-quality biotech products and services at competitive prices for the campus research community and the San Diego biotech community. By ordering through Core Bio Services, you will reduce your purchasing environmental footprint.
  • UC San Diego Surplus Sales serves as an outlet to reutilize, liquidate, recycle and dispose of excess university property. Campus department buyers and the public are welcome to view surplus property from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the warehouse located at 7835 Trade St. San Diego, CA. 92121 behind Ste. 100 (Northeast corner of the building). Surplus Sales also offers recycling services to campus departments for metal, electronics, CRT LCD monitors and refrigeration equipment.
  • Dayton outlet timer

Other Resources

Discounts and Offers

Thermo Fisher Life Technologies

Newly certified and recertified labs are eligible to receive 40% off a one-time quote/purchase of over 1,200 Thermo Fisher greener products (excludes capital equipment and custom products). Price quote valid for 30 days upon date of issue — unlimited quantities with quote. For details, email greenlabs@ucsd.edu.

Upgrade your gel tank for only $10 when you buy selected protein gels. See offer details (PDF) to learn more about gel tanks that use 50% less buffer than traditional protein gel tanks and protein gels that ship and store ambient.

VWR® High-Performance Centrifuge Tubes

Receive a free case of VWR centrifuge tubes when certifying your lab during January!  Get details about these tubes made by a small business.

ULT Freezer Rebate

The freezer subsidy program offers university labs a chance to save money and become more energy efficient. If you need to replace a freezer or are about to purchase a new one, we encourage your lab to purchase an energy-efficient freezer.

Facilities Management offers a $1,600 rebate to help offset the cost of ENERGY STAR® rated upright freezers with less than 30 cubic feet capacity. To find an ENERGY STAR® rated model, visit ENERGY STAR ULT (-80C) FreezersSee details (PDF).

Also see:

 

More Information

For more information, contact greenlabs@ucsd.edu.