Sustainable labs

The Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability can help you make your lab more sustainable through training, funding and advice. We also run an awards scheme to recognise your good practices in lab sustainability.

Video: Sustainable Laboratories at the University of Edinburgh
Sustainable Laboratories at the University of Edinburgh


Best practice

Follow the best practice guidance below to make laboratories more sustainable.


Lab plastics
Learn how to recycle lab materials, reduce lab plastics, use your purchasing power, manage your chemicals and sell or donate unwanted equipment.

Fume cupboards and ventilation

Fume cupboard - Chemistry
Explore energy saving advice on fume cupboards and ventilation, and how to make use of funding for sustainability improvements to your lab.

Cold storage

Cold storage
Read best practice for cold storage: check if your ULT is set too low or if you need to clear out old samples. See if you could get a grant to replace an old unit.

Benchtop lab equipment

Benchtop equipment
Read tips on sustainable use of common lab equipment, and how to buy and use the most efficient equipment. The Sustainable Campus Fund can help you purchase more efficient lab equipment.


Sink in lab
Discover how to purify water with lower environmental impact, better ways to clean glassware and which water-cooling systems are most efficient (part-funding available).


General sustainable lab resources are available on this page. Specific resources on waste, ventilation, cold storage, benchtop lab equipment and water can be found in the themed sections above.


The Sustainable Campus Fund is an internal investment vehicle that provides financing to help you implement energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainability projects that generate cost savings.

Apply for the Sustainable Campus Fund


The Sustainability Awards can give you the framework to help push your place of work to be more sustainable and reward good practice already taking place.

Enter the Lab Sustainability Awards


Case studies, blog posts and articles

Reflections on lab sustainability across the Higher Education sector on our blog, The Seed

Practical learning and advice on lab sustainability on our blog, The Seed

How green is your science? The race to make laboratories sustainable [external]

Lab networks we engage with

University of Edinburgh Sustainable Laboratories Steering Group

S-Lab [external website]

My Green Lab [external website]

University of Edinburgh Technicians

Laboratory Efficiency Action Network (LEAN)