Get sustainability accreditation with LEAF

LEAF helps you identify practical steps to make your lab more sustainable. It is usually done in teams. You can spend as much or as little time as you like, but a good average is around 10 hours each academic year. Participants complete a set of criteria to reach Bronze, Silver or Gold standard in turn, and can estimate the carbon and financial savings their actions have achieved.

The scheme recognises all the great things you are already doing and provides a structure for planning your next steps. It covers equipment, space use, ventilation, procurement, waste, samples and chemicals.

LEAF encouraged me to create chemical lists and inventories for cold storage. This is working well now and makes me really happy! (Lab manager)

Working towards LEAF accreditation empowered me to raise and address sustainability issues in our lab. it was really helpful having the criteria as guidance. (DPhil student)

LEAF is as much about good lab management as it is about sustainability and thus fills a gap that has previously been overlooked. (PI)

You can opt to do LEAF independently or as part of our bigger Green Impact programme. Working on your LEAF accreditation will help you score points towards your Green Impact award. You can have one Green Impact team and multiple LEAF teams (usually one team per lab space) in your building.

Your achievements will be recognised and celebrated at the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Sustainability.

How to get started

  • Join an existing team – LEAF is managed locally in the lab, so you can simply join in.
  • Start a new team – email us to request your welcome pack and the workbook.

2020 LEAF award winners

Several departments started using LEAF this year, including labs from the Chemistry, Engineering, Geography and Pharmacology departments, the Nuffield Department of Medicine, and the Dunn School of Pathology.

LEAF Gold Award

  • Wood lab (Department of Paediatrics)

LEAF Silver Award

  • Newstead lab (Department of Biochemistry)
  • Raff lab (Dunn School of Pathology)
  • Molecular Immunology Group (Dunn School of Pathology)

LEAF Bronze Award

  • Gluenz lab (Dunn School of Pathology)
  • Gruneberg lab (Dunn School of Pathology)

Benefits of participating in LEAF

  • Environmental sustainability accreditation through a nationally recognised scheme;
  • Reduces utility costs and environmental footprint;
  • Provides an opportunity for direct savings through our financial incentive schemes;
  • Supports health and safety compliance within labs;
  • Makes research more efficient;
  • Improves chances of gaining additional research funding;
  • Contributes to a bottom-up sustainability movement;
  • Enables inter-lab and inter-departmental benchmarking;
  • Gives recognition to individual labs and the University through a national scheme;
  • Provides practical learning that improves professional skills and employability;
  • Creates opportunities for students to volunteer as environmental auditors;
  • Strengthens relationships between technicians, researchers, and other stakeholders;
  • Aligns your lab with the University’s environmental sustainability strategy and carbon reduction target.