The Technical Sustainability Working Group
The Technical Sustainability Working Group (TSWG) is a group of lab technicians (~35 members) from across the university’s Nottingham and Derby campuses, working to embed sustainability within labs.
The aim was to have a working group led by our technicians. Technicians are at the forefront of university labs and therefore well-placed to lead green initiatives and share best sustainable practices and ideas. This is shared not just with each other via the working group but also with the university sustainability team and external partners to make the work we all do greener and more sustainable.
The TSWG has been running for three years. In that time it has:
- Secured funding for agreed projects (£20K) and improved the process for requesting access to funding.
- Waterless condensers have been purchased for labs in Biodiscovery Institute and Chemistry. These save three million litres of water going straight down the sink per year.
- Purchased a solvent recycler and started using green solvents in the chemistry labs.
- Signed UoN up to LEAF (Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) as a way of benchmarking efficient and sustainable lab practices.
- Started moving -80 freezers to -70 to save 25% in energy usage. Plans to audit freezer contents are being established to confirm all the freezers are needed.
- Begun using Unigreen Scheme to recycle lab equipment.
- Set up writing instrument recycling. Recycle points are now located across University Park and Jubilee, with a local school benefiting from the scheme.
- Created tip box recycling (plastic that Star and Alpha Labs will not take) and lab plastics recycling e.g. chemical containers, Winchester lids etc.
- Used the Warp-it reuse portal to recycle lab equipment and consumables around the university.
- Established polystyrene recycling to save large amounts of waste from going to landfill.
- Visited the university’s waste contactor’s facilities to see what they do with waste,
For more information about the Technical Sustainability Working Group, please contact Lee Hibbett.