Sustainable Laboratory Practices at Notre Dame
The greeNDiscovery program reduces Notre Dame’s carbon footprint by promoting energy efficiency in research laboratories. Benefits for participating labs include:
- Analysis of energy-saving opportunities
- Rebate offers for replacement of inefficient equipment
- Free labor for cleaning and defrosting freezers
Over 60 research labs have participated in greeNDiscovery so far. As a result, tens of thousands of dollars worth of energy have been saved and hundreds of thousands of pounds of CO2 have been avoided. Dozens of labs have received new, high-efficiency appliances free of charge, as well as free spirit thermometers in exchange for mercury equivalents. Email us today to sign up!
The greeNDiscovery assessment has 4 steps:
1. Informational meeting and walk-through
• greeNDiscovery staff will ask lab representative basic information about lab operations, safety concerns, and ongoing experiments.
• greeNDiscovery staff will collect information about the number and type of major appliances, computers, printers, and fume hoods.
• Time commitment for lab representative: ~30 minutes
2. Approval of recommended metering and preventative maintenance
• greeNDiscovery staff will present a list of appliances they would like to meter and preventative maintenance they would like to perform (vacuuming condensers and defrosting freezers).
• Recommendations will also include preferred computer/printer settings and any mercury thermometers to be exchanged.
• PI will sign off on approved recommendations; lab representative will arrange convenient times for them to be completed.
• Time commitment for PI & lab representative: ~15 minutes
3. Metering and preventative maintenance
• greeNDiscovery staff will meter approved appliances for 2-3 days
• greeNDiscovery staff will assist with preventative maintenance (defrosting freezers, vacuuming condensers) if requested by the lab
• Time commitment for lab representative: ~15 minutes
4. Summary and recommendations for the future
• greeNDiscovery staff will present the results of their analysis and their recommendations for ongoing lab operations and maintenance at a lab meeting
• Time commitment for lab PI & staff: ~15 minutes
Safety: Each greeNDiscovery assessment will be carried out by the Office of Sustainability professional staff and a student intern. An electrical engineer from the Utilities Department will assist with metering as needed. All greeNDiscovery staff members have been trained in lab safety by Risk Management & Safety and have experience working in research laboratories. They will be dressed appropriately and have their own lab coats, safety glasses, and gloves.
How to participate: Each PI who wishes to participate will appoint a representative to be the primary point of contact with the greeNDiscovery team. The representative can be a lab manager, graduate student, researcher, or post-doc. To sign up or request more information, please contact Rachel Novick at 631-1439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Downloads: greeNDiscovery Program Description