Sustainability Scoop ó April 2020

Networking Our Way to New Resources

LaboratoryMany of us in the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories community (I2SL) know what an important role networking plays in designing, operating, and using sustainable laboratories. Our chapters and conference attendees rely on networking to share best practices and learn about the latest technologies to improve efficiency and reduce waste. As part of our efforts to expand our networking reach and bring you the best sustainability information available, I2SL has recently joined the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC).

HEASC is an association of sustainability-related organizations that serve the higher education community. Although it may not be their main mission, these organizations are committed to promoting sustainable principles across the entire system of higher education, from purchasing to physical plants. Because many higher education systems operate complex research laboratories and related high-tech facilities, I2SL saw an opportunity to promote its mission among other like-minded organizations that have the capacity to influence laboratory decision-makers.

HEASC partners have a variety of free resources that are beneficial to the I2SL community. We encourage you to check out some of the following:

  • Read HEASCís Sustainable Development Primer for Higher Education Presidents, Chancellors, Trustees and Senior Leaders. This primer describes the sustainability related, crucial roles and tasks for presidents, trustees, and senior leadership and explains how sustainability is a robust national trend in higher education.
  • Check out the Thought Leaders Series by the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA). Their 2019 report, Innovation in an Age of Disruption, addresses the fact that few higher education institutions are truly embracing innovation in the face of adaptive challenges. How do you think outside the box? Download their report to learn more and apply questions of innovation and entrepreneurship to your sustainability efforts.
  • In addition to I2SLís monthly High-Tech Talks webinar series, HEASC members offer myriad webinars that may be of interest to the I2SL community. For example, learn how to incorporate sustainable procurement into your labís management plan with the free webinar Doing Good While Doing Your JobóMoving Toward a Circular Economy (during this time of Coronavirus) on May 27, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. Eastern. The webinar will also cover ways to save money to reduce financial strain during this time of crisis and available resources to help safely secure and maintain labs and specialty facilities.
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is hosting a free webinar to discuss the opportunities and challenges related to coronavirus and sustainability. If you are interested in talking with other leaders about available resources and learning how others are continuing to make progress, sign up to attend the webinar on May 14, 2020, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

Additionally, I2SL has recently connected with the Association for Public Health Laboratories (APHL), an organization working to improve laboratory systems that serve the publicís health. APHL represents state and local governmental health laboratories in the United States. APHL members monitor, detect, and respond to health threats. With the world closely following the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), APHL is a good resource to track how state and local labs are monitoring and responding to crises.

Another Cool Partnership for Cold Storage Education

Do you know how good cold-storage practices positively impact research? Or what you can do to minimize the environmental footprint of cold-sample storage in research labs? I2SL is also partnering with Brooks Life Sciences to present a series of webinars on cold storage best practices. I2SL members Kathy Ramirez-Aguilar and Christina Greever spoke on a webinar April 2 that is now available on-demand, Efficient Cold Sample Storage: Reducing the Environmental Footprint (and Financial Impact) of Freezer Use in Research. It covers the benefits of efficient cold storage in labs and shares best practices recommended by the International Freezer Challenge. You can also now register for the the second webinar, How Co-Localization of Shared Research Equipment Can Impact the Design and Engineering of Both New and Renovated Laboratory Buildings, on May 14, 2020.

Have any news, articles, upcoming events for us to share? Letís keep the distance learning going. We are constantly updating our own resources and we want to hear from you. Submit an article to be included in our E-Library by emailing us at info@i2sl.org.