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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison joni newcomer
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

New Mexico State University
IN-9: Green Laboratories

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 joni newcomer
Mgr. Env. Policy and Sustainability
Facilities and Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution’s green laboratory program address the following?:
Yes or No
Energy conservation and efficiency, e.g. fume hood ("shut the sash") and freezer maintenance programs Yes
Water conservation and efficiency Yes
Chemical use and disposal Yes
Materials management, e.g. green purchasing guidelines and recycling and reuse programs Yes
Training for lab users on sustainable practices Yes

A brief description of the green laboratory program, including the specific initiatives selected above:

Skeen Hall is one of NMSU’s largest science buildings. Patti Havstad, Agriculture Research Scientist Sr. Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science Dept., in December 2016 , developed the “Skeen Hall Green Labs Program”. This program, along with many other Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office programs, easily show how environmentally sustainable our labs on campus really are. The Skeen Hall “Green Labs Program” is as follows:

Energy Conservation and Efficiency: lab practices include unplugging and /or turning off non-essential electronic devices (computers, monitors, heat plates, biological hoods, scales, electric pipets) when not in use. The last person to leave the lab turns off the lights. Natural lighting from lab windows is used when possible. Inefficient lab equipment is traded in for newer, more energy efficient models or disposed of.

Water Conservation and Efficiency: autoclaves are used at scheduled run times to maximize the amount of material autoclaved per load. Water leaks are reported to Office of Facilities and Services when they are noticed. RO/DI filtered water is only used when necessary to reduce the amount of excess water consumed during filtration process.

Chemical Use and Disposal: labs properly dispose of waste chemicals per the EH&S waste disposal request forms and guidelines for disposal. Labs have traded in mercury thermometers for non -mercury thermometers through the EHS trade- in program. Containers of volatile or other potential hazardous fume chemicals are capped when not in use. Chemicals are recycled when possible (e.g., gel buffers, dry ice). Efforts have been made to replace more hazardous chemicals (e.g., SYBR green) with less hazardous options (SYBR SAFE).

Materials Management: labs reuse or recycle boxes, packing materials, bottles, paper and other materials (e.g., plastic tip boxes, foil) when possible. Electronic versions of catalogs and periodicals are used when possible, or borrowed from other labs. Plant materials such as used soil are re-used when possible or placed in centrally located composting areas for delivery to the Fabian Garcia farm. Light bulbs are recycled. Resources are shared with other labs.

Training for Lab Users on Sustainable Practices: Lab members are advised on sustainability practices and encouraged to participate, suggest, and implement practices.

We have so many sites and pages on our safety program they can't all be shown here, but the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office main page URL will get you wherever you need to be to find our environmental safety programs and procedures.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office "Chemical and Waste Management" https://safety.nmsu.edu/chemical-waste-management/

College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences "Chemical Disposal Guide
http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_g/G312/welcome.html

EHS "Hazardous Waste Management Manual" https://safety.nmsu.edu/programs/1_hwm-toc/

EHS chemical safety and all other waste management and safety classes: https://safety.nmsu.edu/training/ehs-class-descriptions/

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office "Chemical and Waste Management" https://safety.nmsu.edu/chemical-waste-management/

College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences "Chemical Disposal Guide
http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_g/G312/welcome.html

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.