How ESG Targets Are Driving the Future of Sustainable Laboratories

Vicki Worden, Green Building Initiative
David Eldridge, Grumman Butkus

The sustainability challenges faced by laboratories are both significant and specific. Labs consume considerable energy, require large amounts of water, and produce substantial waste. But with challenges come opportunities for improvement.

Across academic, government and private industry sectors, high-level commitments to ambitious Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals are driving an increased focus on reducing resource consumption, improving resilience, and providing healthy space for occupants. Companies with strong ESG performance also accrue long-term advantages like climate resilience and positioning for the changing energy future, and a strong governing structure reduces their organizational risk exposure over time. This presentation will discuss how ESG strategies can help laboratory owners and operators develop a roadmap to reduce carbon emissions and improve employee health and wellness, all while keeping overarching organizational objectives top of mind.

The presentation will describe how the Green Building Initiative's (GBI's) Green Globes certification is ideally suited for unique buildings such as laboratories. Green Globes evaluates the sustainability, health and wellness, and resilience of buildings and the flexibility features allow laboratory owners and operators to focus on ESG initiatives that are impactful. Attendees will understand how metrics and reporting can support laboratory leadership in identifying and attaining their short-and long-term ESG goals.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how ESG initiatives can help laboratories achieve sustainability goals, increase employee health and wellness, reduce risk exposure and support their larger research and programmatic objectives;
  • Identify the sustainability features that innovative and sustainable laboratories may incorporate and understand how these practices, specifically related to energy, water consumption reduction, and waste mitigation, can be applied to the attendees' laboratory or future laboratory;
  • Understand how GBI's Green Globes certification can support laboratory owners and operators in attaining ambitious company or institution-wide Environmental, Social, and Governance goals; and
  • Recognize how GBI's Green Globes third-party assessment and certification system guides project teams through sustainability initiatives that are applicable to the building's usage and location.


Vicki Worden is a sustainability thought leader and President and CEO of the Green Building Initiative (GBI), a nonprofit dedicated to making buildings healthy places to live and work while reducing their impacts on the environment. Worden has dedicated her career to advancing environmental initiatives across North America.

David Eldridge is an Associate of Grumman Butkus, concentrating on energy management, analysis, modeling, benchmarking, and sustainability projects. He is a credentialed Green Globes Assessor, with extensive training in Green Globes assessment methodology and more than a decade's worth of successful onsite assessments for diverse building types.


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