University of California's Green Labs Action Plans

Amorette Getty, University of California, Santa Barbara

The University of California recently developed requirements that all UC campuses draft and publish Green Lab Action Plans, akin to pre-existing campus-specific Climate and Water Action Plans. The Green Lab Action Plans will outline the status of each campus' efforts relevant to sustainable lab operations, highlight achievements to date, and outline plans for the future. They will also serve to provide uniform data regarding number of lab users and square feet of lab present on each campus and estimated percentages impacted by Green Labs Programs.

Sections of the UC Green Labs Action Plan include Current Programs and Benchmarks, Best Practices, Areas of Improvement, Targets and Implementation Strategies, providing a holistic snapshot of the past, present, and intended future of Green Labs efforts on a campus with any level of program maturity.

UC Santa Barbara has drafted and will formally have published the first of the UC's Green Labs Action Plans by Oct 2018, and will discuss the process of developing such a comprehensive report. We will discuss barriers encountered in creating such a report, the use of undergraduate interns to collect and collate historic data, barriers to certain types of data creporting.

Once all UC Campuses have published their GLAP's (due Summer 2018, to be updated on a 4-year cycle), a range of examples of lab sustainability programs with varying levels of maturity, methods of execurion, and areas of focus, will be documented in a publicly available, uniform format for the Green Labs community to reference. We will report on highlights from published reports from multiple campuses.

It is hoped that the template for the UC's Green Labs Action Plan will provide an model for comprehensive reporting of Green Labs efforts on campuses nationwide, and could dovetail or interface with related efforts such as the Smart Labs Accelerator Maturity Matrix assessment presented at I2SL 2017.

Learning Objectives

  • know they can access a Green Labs Action Plan template to outline the status, progress, and goals of their campus green labs programs
  • know they will be able to access for review the Green Labs Action Plans for all University of California campuses to compare with each other and with their own campuses.
  • be aware of some of the challenges associated with prepating a comprehensive Action Plan of this kind
  • see how a Green Labs Action Plan dovetails with Maturity Matrices, Lab Ventilation Management Plans, and other methods of qualifying sustainable and efficient lab operation.


Amorette Getty works to help scientific labs use every resource they have with expanded efficiency: electrical energy, human energy, water, material waste, researcher time, experience, and attention, and grant funding dollars. She is Co-Director of UCSB's LabRATS program, and chairs the UCSB Campus' Laboratory Ventilation Working Group.


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