Green Labs

Niamh Kelly, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lisa Anderson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Members of the MIT community will share specific examples and experiences related to laboratory sustainability efforts taken over the last two years. Lisa Anderson, currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Chemical Engineering, will present her personal experiences as a researcher and leader in two labs, at UC Davis and MIT, on the process of green lab certification. Lisa will discuss challenges, communication techniques, equipment monitoring and behavioral changes made as a result, as well as methods to encourage PIs, colleagues and administrative stakeholders. Niamh Kelly, MIT EHS Officer and Hazardous Waste Program Manager, will provide her perspective on the benefits of a Green Labs program from an EHS perspective, as well as, discuss the operational and administration challenges and achievements realized throughout the process. A specific focus on new programs within lab recycling will be discussed, such as starting a glove recycling program.

Learning Objectives

  • Determine various methods of lab occupant engagement, education and best practices related to sustainable lab practices.
  • Identify lab waste recycling streams and associated methods for collection.
  • Identify key stakeholders within the lab and administration to implement a successful program.
  • Determine the need for life cycle analysis studies related to lab recycling efforts.


Niamh Kelly, CSP, CHMM is an Officer in the Environment, Health & Safety Office at MIT. She has worked at MIT for over ten years managing the hazardous waste program and supporting lab and campus sustainability programs. She works closely with researchers and facilities staff to ensure full compliance and safety requirements are met, while enhancing lab sustainability through design and practice. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and sailing during the summer.

Lisa Anderson, PhD, is a postdoctoral scholar in MIT's Department of Chemical Engineering. She is investigating the performance of microbial biosynthesis of fuels and chemicals to find solutions for sustainable production of energy and medicines. She received her PhD in Organic Chemistry from UC Davis where she discovered chemical triggers to stimulate oil production in microalgae. She won the 2016 NE BioLabs Passion in Science Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2014 KC Greenovation Award.


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