Written by Emma Wightman, MSc - Content Specialist & Technical Writer, Triumvirate Environmental
While many scientists have embraced the idea that environmental responsibility is paramount, it can seem daunting to actually implement sustainability best practices within a lab space. From research and development (R&D) to healthcare diagnostics and everything in between, labs are essential for worldwide knowledge acquisition and advancement. Much of this involves exact processes and sterile environments in order to make experiments run smoothly. Often, these processes are resource-intensive, relying heavily on water, energy, and single-use plastic to perform while maintaining research integrity.
Due to the crucial nature of these experiments, sustainability efforts simply won’t work unless sample and experiment integrity can be maintained at the same time. Regrettably, some labs choose not to adopt certain sustainability initiatives due to concerns about potential risks to the integrity of their research or experiments. Fortunately, by implementing proven sustainability best practices and partnering with vendors who prioritize sustainability and safety, labs can not only continue their vital work but also make their operations more environmentally friendly.
Embracing Lab Sustainability
Labs across the globe are realizing the importance of sustainability. They are coming to understand that these resource-intensive spaces offer a unique opportunity for double-sided progress: If labs become more sustainable, they will both reduce their dependency on finite resources while simultaneously continuing the research that helps protect the environment and the global community as a whole.
This concept is cemented by growing societal and governmental concern for the environment. In fact, sustainability compliance is likely to become legally mandated, as evidenced by the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27), the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) drafting, and other such events. On top of this, 80% of consumers have indicated that they prefer to support companies with a stronger approach to sustainability—signaling that sustainability can mean more loyalty and thus, revenue.
Creating a Sustainable Future
That fact remains that even when labs are hoping to implement sustainability programs, there are some perceived barriers to how far this inclusion can go. Many researchers are hesitant to change their standard operating procedures (SOPs) as they don’t want to risk research integrity—or safety—by using products or performing tasks that are not verified as safe and effective. They also may not know how to go about solving lab sustainability issues in a compliant way. As such, they stick to the same routines, continuing their heavy reliance on resources as they prioritize safety and efficiency over sustainability. And who can blame them?
What if we told you, however, that you can have all three—sustainability, research integrity, and safety—by partnering with vendors who take environmental, health, and safety (EHS) seriously? EHS partners are a necessary and constant presence in lab operations, providing waste disposal and consulting services to these spaces. Anyone can provide these services, but only few can offer them in a sustainable way—so it is important to ensure the services and ideas of your EHS partner align with your environmental goals. This may look like:
And because safety and sustainability go hand in hand, and labs can be unsafe places for lab personnel and the environment, it is in everyone’s best interest to incorporate both into operations—so you know that a vendor who offers these services is the real deal and actually cares about the well-being of your staff. A few questions to ask the vendor include:
EHS Partnering for Lab Sustainability Success
My Green Lab and Triumvirate Environmental, a holistic and turnkey EHS vendor, both share a deep commitment to sustainability and understand the complex needs of labs within this larger push. In partnership, we provide the know-how, and the can-do, to help you achieve any and all of your sustainability goals. Triumvirate Environmental’s deep-set commitment to sustainability and expansive set of service offerings allow labs to craft sustainability solutions that best fit their environment.
With a shared set of values, this partnership strengthens lab sustainability commitments including:
Safety is something that can just be a key phrase, but Triumvirate Environmental is proud to put it right at the forefront of our operations—allowing you to focus on research integrity and employee safety. For more information about Triumvirate Environmental, visit www.triumvirate.com.