2nd Annual Greening Grants Work Meeting at the 2016 DOE Summit

Increasing efficient, effective use of federal research funding while minimizing environmental impacts


Organized by: I2SL with DOE Better Buildings support

Meeting Description: On May 10th, 2016, this 2nd annual session explored solutions to overcome barriers and raise awareness about the need to connect efficiency & sustainability to federally supported research. Encouraging items such as equipment sharing, efficient use of laboratory space, and selection of lab equipment & processes that are energy/water/material efficient would have the dual benefit of reducing the environmental footprint of research while maximizing the effective use of federal dollars in research budgets. In particular, this session focused on gathering input from scientists on the topic of Greening Grants, expected challenges, and suggestions on the best way to make progress on implementation.

Meeting Objectives:

  • To provide the opportunity for representatives from various federal agencies and universities to connect on this subject and discuss ways to connect efficiency to federal research funding.
  • To raise awareness that greening grants not only benefits reducing the environmental footprint of research but also benefits efficient, effective use of federal dollars to maximize research funded with federal research budgets.
  • To find solutions that can be measured, avoid unwelcome administrative burden, and would be considered a win for granting agencies, a win for scientists, and a win for universities.
  • To learn about any efforts underway addressing this topic.

Introductory/Background Presentation:

Why is there a need for connecting sustainability and efficiency to federal research funding for universities?
Kathy Ramirez-Aguilar, Ph.D., Green Labs Program Manager at the University of Colorado-Boulder and Chair of the I2SL University Alliance Group

Note: View a more complete set of slides on the topic of Greening Grants.

Panel of University Scientists included the following:

Facilitator: Hilliary Creely, Assistant Dean for Research at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Panel participants:

  • Robert Kuchta, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Brenda Petrella, Biological Safety Officer, Lab Sustainability Manager, Dartmouth College
  • Jelena Srebric, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland

Note: Initially, the idea was to have a panel including both university scientists and individuals from federal agencies with responsibility for or influence over policy development, guidance, and/or administration of federal grants, but despite great effort, no federal agency employee accepted the invitation. Thus the panel was simply composed of scientists. Read the panel invitation letter emailed to many federal employees.

Meeting notes:

Next Steps:

  • Continue to reach out and engage stakeholder groups who have not been as well represented
  • Explore potential greening grants connections with AASHE
  • Host a meeting/webinar with research administrators at universities to gain additional information on their perspective.


Go to 2015 Greening Grants Meeting Webpage

Back to University Alliance Working Group