Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


UGA Green Labs leads the charge in lab sustainability

Alan Flurry

The UGA Office of Sustainability has a strong impact on our Campus – and not just for Earth Day, but definitely that, too.

From the Composting Program in our buildings to Bulldog Bike share to the many initiatives that advance sustainability on campus and in the community, developing student leaders on and around the issue of environmental sustainability is crucial for today as well critical for tomorrow. In that vein, UGA’s Green Lab Program is positively guiding our research enterprise by helping laboratories on campus continue solving the world’s grand challenges while reducing their own environmental footprints:

Research laboratories are resource-intensive spaces; they can use as much as 10 times the energy and water per square foot of an office or classroom and can generate as much as 25 times the waste. With nearly 2,000 labs covering 1.5 million square feet of space on campus, these operations can have a significant impact on the institution’s overall resource consumption and waste generation.

That’s where the UGA Green Labs Program comes in. The program is committed to making UGA research labs more sustainable and efficient by reducing resource use, diverting waste and implementing best practices and technologies.

“We must redefine what it means to do good science,” said Star Scott, UGA Green Labs founder and program manager. “Doing good science has always meant producing testable, objective, reproducible data and bringing in sufficient funding. But it’s time to expand our thinking to consider the environmental and social impacts of our research operations and minimize those as much as possible. The Green Labs program is here to make it easy to adopt these changes and further improve the integrity of the incredible research being done here at UGA.”

Last fall, UGA Green Labs student intern Anna Lentz completed an energy reduction project at the Center for Molecular Medicine. She helped assistant professor Pengpeng Bi reduce energy consumption in his lab by 14.4 kWh/day, saving over $400 a year, by adding benchtop timers to equipment, temperature tuning his freezer and shutting the fume hood sash when the unit was not in use. With more UGA labs embracing Green Labs initiatives like Bi, it could result in an annual savings of nearly $200,000 or more in energy, water and waste disposal costs for the university, positively impacting UGA’s research culture.

Continue reading...

Go Green map image via Greenlab UGA

Support Franklin College

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.