Laboratories are resource intensive spaces. Labs use 10x more energy and 4x more water than office spaces.

We are rolling out laboratory efficiency schemes to help you make your lab practices more sustainable and reduce your carbon footprint. These programmes will provide you the practical steps to improve sustainability within your lab.

Lab sustainability certification schemes


The Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) is an environmental accreditation scheme designed to improve sustainability within higher education teaching and research.

The framework enables individual lab managers (academic staff, technical staff, teaching lab. managers) from all departments to quantify their environmental and financial impact. The LEAF programme comprises the following:

  • Participating labs are given a list of environmental actions on an online platform broken down into Bronze, Silver and Gold categories to complete. Each action within the categories is clear and easy to implement.
  • The categories include waste, travel, energy, water, procurement, and research quality. Each action is supported by a rationale as well as evidenced guidance to help implement it.
  • Carbon calculators are included within the online toolkit enabling labs to estimate the current sustainability performance of their lab and track improvements as they implement changes.
  • Labs can decide on bronze, silver or gold level award and have the opportunity in the following year to improve (if required).

How can I get involved?

Participating labs are asked to complete an online workbook that enables them to assess how individual items contribute to their carbon footprint in a thorough, wide-ranging, and organised manner.

To get involved, please email to receive the LEAF user guide to help you create an account via the online portal and provide a step-by-step guide on how to register your lab.

My Green Lab

The My Green Lab Certification program is designed to give laboratories actionable ways to improve their environmental performance through a continuous improvement process. The My Green Lab Certification programme comprises the following: 

  • A 5 step programme: 
    • Baseline Assessment Survey - Using an online self-assessment survey, individual members of the participating lab are asked a series of questions. 
    • Implement Changes - Using My Green Lab recommendations as guidelines, lab personnel are encouraged to take some time (typically ~6 months) to make changes in their laboratory 
    • Certification - After a number of changes are made, members of the lab retake the online self-assessment survey. The extent of progress in adopting best practices in the lab through the responses provided to us is quantified. Subsequently, the lab receives an overall score (in percentage) and a certification level. 
    • Implement More Changes - After the initial certification, the lab must re-certify within two years to maintain their certified status. 
    • Re-Certification - When the lab is ready for re-certification, they retake the online self-assessment survey to see what best practices are still implemented and where they might make future changes. 
  • The categories include community, recycling & waste reduction, resource management, purchasing, green chemistry and green biologics, water, plug load, fume hoods, cold storage, large equipment, infrastructure energy, field work, animal research and travel (each category is available where applicable)  
  • There are five levels of certification: bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and green.  The level of certification is determined by the score on the certification assessment.  It reflects both-- the percentage of possible green lab best practices that have been adopted and the extent to which they have been adopted by the lab. 

How can I get involved?

To get involved, please email where you will be put in touch with our My Green Lab representative and be provided a step-by-step guide on how to register your lab. 

Imperial's Lab Certification Showcase.

Lab Certification Sustainability Showcase

Catch up on our Lab Certification Sustainability Showcase, where certified Bronze and Gold Imperial lab users share the steps they took to achieve a lab certification through LEAF and My Green Labs. In this session, you will learn the application process with the online platforms, going from Bronze to Silver, and the small changes that you can make in your labs to make a big difference.

Further information

Sustainable Lab Kit Fund

The Sustainability Hub is launching our Lab Kit Fund to help drive the shift to sustainable laboratory equipment. More sustainable and efficient equipment tends to come with a higher initial price tag; this fund hopes to bridge that financial gap and enable groups to make the more environmental choice. Applications are open to any groups looking purchase, replace or, repair equipment. Our Lab Kit Fund for 2023-24 has now closed.

Register to hear updates for the Sustainable Lab Kit Fund 2024-25

If you have any queries, please email with the subject 'Lab Kit Fund'.

Roadmap for Low-Carbon Ultra-Low Temperature Storage

Environmental Impacts of ULT Storage

Catch up on our Environmental Impacts of Biobanking seminar, where our guest speaker Matthew Graham shares Carbon Footprinting Assessments that were carried out on ULT Freezers and Liquid Nitrogen Storage as part of a one year, UK-based, MRC-funded multidisciplinary research project led by DR. Gabrielle Samuel (KCL) and Martin Farley (UKRI).