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  • AASHE-STARS

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 77.43
Liaison Claudia Frere-Anderson
Submission Date Oct. 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Washington, Seattle
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Claudia Frere-Anderson
Director
UW Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Green Lab Certification Program
+ Date Revised: Nov. 19, 2015

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

The University of Washington is known for its research programs. In the 2014 fiscal year, the UW received more than $1.3 billion dollars in research funding, more than any other American public university. That research translates into a need for laboratory space on campus - the UW has more than 4,500 labs. Those labs also require large amounts of resources.

On average, a lab will use about five times as much energy as a campus office. At the University of Washington, labs comprise about 22 percent of the building space, but use about 65 percent of the energy. There is also often less of a focus on operational sustainability in labs than in other areas of the university.

The Green Laboratory Certification Program aims to help raise awareness of sustainability issues in labs across the UW by recognizing labs that follow sustainable practices and by providing resources on sustainable practices that are available to all labs on campus.

More than 60 labs across the UW have been certified since the Green Laboratory Certification program began in 2013. The program includes an online form labs submit regarding their green practices, with questions determined by a committee of stakeholders across campus, such as the School of Public Health, College of the Environment, College of Engineering, College of Arts & Sciences, Capital Planning & Development, Environmental Health and Safety and many others. The Green Lab criteria includes assessing energy use, recycling, chemicals, communication, purchasing, water and travel. Labs must meet a minimum level of green practice to be certified at a Gold, Silver or Bronze level.

During the 2014-2015 academic year, a research team from the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences (DOEHS) used a campus research grant to study how the certification was working and ways to improve (http://green.uw.edu/gsf/project/2022). The study looked at 20 labs in DOEHS and identified barriers the labs faced in reaching the standard for Green Lab Certification through interviews, waste audits and purchasing records. The study identified and implemented intervention and outreach methods which led to 18 of the 20 labs reaching Green Lab certification. The lessons learned through this study are now being applied for campus-wide outreach.

+ Date Revised: Nov. 19, 2015

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):
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A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum No
Research Yes
+ Date Revised: Nov. 19, 2015
Campus Engagement No
+ Date Revised: Nov. 19, 2015
Public Engagement No
Air & Climate No
Buildings No
Dining Services No
Energy Yes
+ Date Revised: Nov. 19, 2015
Grounds No
Purchasing No
+ Date Revised: Nov. 19, 2015
Transportation No
Waste No
Water Yes
+ Date Revised: Nov. 19, 2015
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
http://green.uw.edu/green-laboratory/certification
+ Date Revised: Nov. 19, 2015

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.