Sustainability Scoop – October 2019

Go Beyond Awards Winners Inspire Us All

Every year at the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) Annual Conference, organizations, individuals, and projects that are pushing the boundaries of sustainability in their high-performance facilities are honored at the Go Beyond Awards Luncheon. As anyone who works in sustainability can attest, careful planning and management must go into every step of lab design, construction, operation, and use to maintain the extensive requirements for health, safety, and air quality. That's why it's so remarkable when individuals and teams go above and beyond to implement sustainable strategies in their laboratories.

Image of hurricane damage at Florida International University

On October 22, I2SL recognized two individuals, two groups, and three projects for their outstanding work. This year's Go Beyond winners demonstrated a commitment to advancing both science and sustainability, and their efforts contribute to the overall goal of more efficient laboratories across the world.

The individuals honored at the 2019 Go Beyond Awards luncheon are:

  • Nick Ciancio, University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB) Green Labs Program: As an undergraduate student, Nick brought together key stakeholders at UAB to address the environmental impact of research facilities holistically. His efforts inspired over 20 labs to participate in the university's pilot green labs certification program.
  • Nilesh Dagia, o2h: Nilesh has been a strong representative of I2SL's mission within India's laboratory community, demonstrating strategies that improve the performance and financial benefits of energy-efficient and environmentally responsible labs.

The groups recognized at the 2019 Go Beyond Awards are:

  • GSS-CA/DCT/FDA-JLC Team Water Treatment Program, Food and Drug Administration's Jefferson Laboratories Complex: The team emphasized maintaining clean and corrosion-free heat exchange surfaces, which improves the system's efficiency and helps to reduce repair costs and resulting in a state-of-the-art facility that achieves energy and water savings and sustainable maintenance and operations.
  • NIH Green Labs Program, National Institutes of Health (NIH): The diverse team behind NIH's first Green Labs Program developed its collaborative initiative in 2018, developing a green labs self-assessment form and creating a set of good laboratory practices to encourage NIH's lab staff to conduct their work in an energy-efficient manner and divert waste from landfills.

The projects recognized at the 2019 Go Beyond Awards luncheon are:

  • Dow Chemical Water and Process Solutions Laboratory Building, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology: The design team behind this laboratory recognized the obvious need to conserve water and identified several areas to reuse water and help occupants significantly reduce water use.
  • Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Nursing, Bowie State University (BSU): This interdisciplinary building combines spaces for math, engineering, nursing, biology, chemistry, physical sciences, and blended disciplines in a space that is both collaborative and sustainable, incorporating strategies that contribute to the health, productivity, and well-being of occupants.
  • MIT.nano, Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT): The facility combines MIT's nanotechnology, materials, and engineering systems under one roof, bringing new possibilities to nanotechnology research, and the team prioritized efficiency, resiliency, and wellness in designing the building to LEED Platinum standards.

These individuals and projects help inspire the global laboratory community to keep driving innovation in sustainability. I2SL thanks all the winners for their passion and congratulates them for their achievements!