A Decade of Green Labs at the University of Colorado Boulder

Barbara Petkus, University of Colorado, Boulder

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The University of Colorado Green Labs Program celebrated its 10-year anniversary in July 2019. Jointly funded by Facilities Management and the Environmental Center, the CU Green Labs Program uses a team approach to minimize the use of energy, water, material goods, and hazardous chemicals in CU Boulder laboratories and promotes efficient, effective use of research equipment and laboratory space. This milestone marked 10 years of sustainability efforts in labs on the CU Boulder campus. Over this time, the program has grown in capabilities largely due to new and continued partnerships with numerous campus departments and growing financial support.

This presentation will cover how the CU Green Labs Program is organized at CU Boulder, the ongoing efforts we support on campus, metrics of the program's success, and insight into why the program has been a success in the last 10 years, as well as some challenges faced by the program. This presentation will also provide some suggestions for success and a road map covering some simple items to consider when starting or growing a Green Labs Program.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how the CU Green Labs program is structured including details of initiatives and metrics of success;
  • Describe the fundamental importance of our partnerships both on the CU Boulder campus as well as local community and national partners;
  • Identify some of the challenges faced by the program as well as examples of initiatives that were unsuccessful on our campus; and
  • Discuss tips for success and simple items to consider when starting a Green Labs Program at other institutions.


Barbara Petkus is a laboratory professional with roughly 10 years of experience working at both private and academic laboratories in the area of biomedical research. She also has extensive experience working in Biosafety Level 3 laboratories (BSL3). Barbara holds a bachelor's degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado. In her current role she serves as the Program Assistant and Outreach Coordinator for the CU Boulder Green Labs Program.


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