Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) is designed to help lab users address and improve their sustainability practices. This scheme will be starting at the University of Surrey in October 2023.

What is LEAF?

Laboratories are extremely energy and resource-intensive areas. LEAF was created collaboratively by universities across the UK to address this and improve lab sustainability. By taking part in LEAF, laboratories are supported to follow set criteria to reduce their carbon emissions and create a sustainable environment that continues to support research qualities.

Prior to launching, LEAF was piloted across 23 different institutions in over 230 laboratory groups. On average each group reported 2.9 tCO2e avoided and £3,700 saving. In total approximately £641,000 was saved, and 648 tCO2e emissions were avoided, the equivalent of 140 passenger vehicles off the road in a year.

How it works?

LEAF is just one part of the University of Surrey’s programme to make our labs more sustainable. The Sustainability Team will be launching LEAF in October 2023, asking teams from university labs to sign up and take part.  

The programme takes place over 12 months, re-starting every October. Teams will be supported to follow set sustainability criteria and will gain access to:

  • User-friendly online interface.
  • Calculators to estimate the impact in terms of carbon and financial savings.
  • Criteria on research quality, as supported by the UK Reproducibility Network.
  • Expert resources such as technical guides, case studies and supporting documentation.

At the end of the year, laboratories are awarded either Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on how many sustainability actions they take from the list of criteria. Team achievements will be highlighted and celebrated with an awards ceremony every year.

Get Involved

The Sustainability Team is looking for laboratory teams to take part in a pilot for LEAF at the university. If you’re interested, please contact Emese Szabó from the Estates and Facilities department.