Because laboratories are large consumers of resources and thus present huge opportunities for conservation, a special emphasis for conservation has been placed on laboratory operations through the creation of the CU Green Labs Program in the summer of 2009. The program is a collaboration between the CU Facilities Management Office of Sustainability, the CU Environmental Center, and the CU Environmental Health and Safety.
Without question, laboratories are important centers of intellectual innovation and discovery in our society. However, they also consume large amounts of energy, water, and materials goods. CU has more than 400 laboratories on its Boulder campus which typically consume 5-10 times more energy than classroom or office space. The CU Green Labs Program is working with these labs to promote the efficient use of energy, water, and materials by:
1. Involving individual laboratory members in identifying opportunities for efficiency in their laboratory and promoting efficient behavior among laboratory members
2. Upgrading inefficient laboratory equipment and techniques
3. Compelling labs to turn equipment off when not in use, and to retire unnecessary or duplicate equipment
4. Developing means to reduce the large flow of lab materials into the waste stream
5. Raising awareness about the large resource footprint of laboratories