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Sustainability in laboratories

Sustainability affects all aspects of the university. Laboratories have an important role to play in this context, as they use a lot of technological equipment, consume a lot of energy, and generate a lot of waste due to the sterile conditions for research.

Energy management

One of the current projects deals with the university’s ultra-low temperature freezers. These work at particularly low temperatures (e.g. – 80 degrees Celsius). Projections have shown, that there is a high potential for energy savings in this field. The spectrum ranges from reductions, to the purchase of new equipment. However, important rules of conduct, such as regular defrosting and sorting, must not be neglected and be implemented beforehand.

In order to support the calculations, it is now important to obtain valid evidence and facts. For this purpose, various laboratory and specialist managers have agreed to take measurements on their refrigerators and make them available to us. Based on this, it will be possible to calculate specific annual consumption and thus possible savings.

As the equipment is purchased by the individual laboratories, but the energy is provided by the university, there must be an incentive to address the issue. Ultimately, the university makes the savings.
Our aim is therefore to use the financial energy savings that the university would make, to provide the laboratory managers with funding for the purchase of new equipment. We also aim to take stock of all the university’s ultra-low temperature freezers.

Waste management

In addition to energy, waste management is a major area of the university, that affects the sustainability. In order to gain an overview of the current situation, expert discussions were held with various areas of the university. We came to the conclusion, that there is also potential to make the university fit for the future and for climate neutrality. We are currently working on the development of concrete measures and projects.

Suggestions and proposals?

We always have an open ear and are happy to listen to suggestions for initiatives and projects. For general sustainability matters, our contact options are listed on the homepage. Ideas concerning the laboratories can be sent directly to the following person in our team.

Nick Sommerauer