As one of the world’s premier research institutions, Stanford is home to approximately 2 million square feet of laboratory space and over 5,000 different research projects at any given time. The cutting-edge research that takes place in these facilities often requires energy-intensive equipment that must be run continuously to maintain the integrity of the research. Additionally, because of stringent Environmental Health and Safety regulations, labs utilize a host of other systems requiring significantly more energy to operate than those you might find in a standard academic building. Thus, lab space often represents a crucial opportunity to increase efficiency and reduce waste.

In June, Stanford’s Office of Sustainability, in partnership with several operations groups on campus, launched the Cardinal Green Labs program. This program aims to provide resources specifically tailored for laboratories to help them operate as sustainably as possible. The program currently offers resources and guidance on sustainability related to chemicals, energy, water, and waste. It also offers a comprehensive online assessment where labs can learn how sustainable their current practices are and easy tips for improvement. Ten labs piloted the assessment in the first month, and their feedback informed the Cardinal Green Labs team about additional programs and support needed. The program will continue to be built out in the next year.