Team:TU Dresden/iGEM-goes-green/Resources

Saving Resources


This Guideline gives useful tips for how lab work can be more sustainable by thoughtful planning and conscious usage of resources. Furthermore, it contains suggestions for more environmental friendly conferences and meetings. The guideline also outlines how greenhouse gas emissions of a lab and for flights can be calculated and compensated for. Most of the tips are easy to implement in a daily working routine and do not require a lot of effort for scientists to adopt.

"Green Your Lab" Poster

The sustainable lab work poster
The most important lab work related tips are summarized in a poster. It was created to hang it on the wall in your lab as a reminder to work greener.
Green Your Lab - Poster

The Calculator

This Excel based tool offers teams the opportunity to calculate their team's carbon footprint that is related to the laboratory work. Consumables, heating and electricity consumptions can be entered to get a summary of the CO2 emissions of the lab.

The iGEM goes green GHG emissions calculator

Let’s have a look at the different sheets included in the Calculator:

GHG emissions can be classified by scopes that reflect different forms of emission. “Scope 1” relates to direct emissions caused, for instance, by burning coal. This scope is not relevant for our calculation as laboratories normally do not produce any direct emissions. Moreover, “Scope 2” relates to indirect emissions caused by the generation of warmth and electricity. At this point, the Calculator comes into play.

Getting hands on heating data is usually difficult as data is collected for whole building complexes and not for each respective lab. To measure the power consumption of electrical devices, the actual consumption needs to be measured with powermeters for different settings and durations. Furthermore, the power consumption can also be calculated using performance parameters, but this value can largely differ from the actual value.

"Scope 3" encounts for all other emissions caused related to the project, be it the manufacturing of the used products, the (environmental) cost of their shipping, business trips, etc. It is important to set the boundaries of your calculation at that point. Our team took in account the consumables and chemicals we use in our daily lab routine. The result can be seen as an estimate as not all suppliers provide emission data for their products. Nevertheless, we can identify prominent factors and the proportions of the impact the different factors have.

The unit for measuring the global warming potential of the emitted greenhouse gases (GHG) is CO2, thus the result will be also given in CO2 units. The different other gases occurring are multiplied with a factor that reflects their harmfulness for our climate.

With the Calculator, our team was able to estimate the GHG emissions of the lab to be 3520 kg for the duration of our project.

Updated Versions

All our documents can be also found here: GitHub