The Green Labs Program promotes the reduction of energy, water, solid and hazardous waste from UBC labs

UBC is a research-intensive university with over 400 labs. Lab buildings account for approximately 50% of UBC Vancouver campus energy use, 25% of water use and 95% of hazardous waste generated. UBC’s Green Labs Program therefore presents a unique opportunity to minimize the significant environmental impact of the University’s research laboratory footprint, by promoting the adoption of solutions and behaviours that reduce energy, water, solid and hazardous waste and foster a culture of sustainability.

Each year Green Labs engages thousands of UBC researchers through conservation campaigns, sustainability workshops, newsletters and digital signage. The program promotes important sustainability values and approaches that UBC students can apply when they graduate, in their future work as global stewards for a sustainable future.

Green Labs also supports a champion network of approximately 40 Sustainability Coordinators, representing over 25 research departments, who volunteer 2-4 work hours per month.

By strengthening sustainable practices in laboratories, the Green Labs Program supports UBC’s Policy #5 (Sustainable Development), enhanced Pollution Prevention per Policy #6 (Environmental Protection Compliance), and Policy #9 (Hazardous Materials Management), as well as implementation of sustainability commitments in, UBC’s 20 Year Sustainability Strategy, and UBC’s Climate Action Plan.

The program is a cooperative effort between:

and committed members of the University’s research community.

Goals and objectives

UBC’s Green Labs Program aims to reduce the environmental impact of research activities by actively working in these areas:

  • Buildings
    Optimize building and lab systems to run more efficiently and use less resources
  • Lab practices and processes
    Define and implement environmental best management practices and processes
  • Engaging researchers
    Increase the uptake of environmental best management practices in the research community