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Driving Sustainability in the Lab Industry

Attendees of Lab Innovations 2021 walking past exhibition booths.
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The UK’s largest annual trade show for the lab industry, Lab Innovations will focus on the theme of sustainability at this year’s show, taking place on November 2 and 3 at the NEC, Birmingham. As part of that, the show will host The Sustainable Laboratory feature, presented by Andy Evans, director of Green Light Laboratories, who will shed light on how labs can improve sustainability. Furthermore, this year’s Insights and Innovations theatre is sponsored by My Green Lab and will focus on the theme of Skills and Sustainability. Finally, the show will run a sustainability trail for the first time this year, highlighting exhibitors making significant contributions to lab sustainability.

Sustainability is a key theme at this year’s Lab Innovations with the show running a sustainability trail, which is new this year. The trail will highlight some of the exhibitors making significant contributions to lab sustainability, allowing visitors to get hands-on experience with sustainable solutions and learn how to implement sustainability in their own labs. Furthermore, My Green Lab is sponsoring this year’s Insights and Innovations theatre, which has a theme of Skills and Sustainability and all talks in this theatre will follow the theme of sustainability. Some of the leading brands giving talks include Pfizer, Merck, Fisher Scientific and UKAS.

This year’s The Sustainable Laboratory will be bigger than ever, showcasing the cutting-edge equipment and in-lab practices that can reduce the industry’s energy consumption and carbon emissions. It will also give visitors a chance to learn from case studies and audits from a series of leading UK labs.

The Sustainable Laboratory will provide visitors with an interactive tour encompassing the key discussion points around sustainability and give end-users the opportunity to discover data on performance first hand. For example, seeing how cold storage units recover temperature after their doors are opened. Visitors will also have the chance to win prizes on both days of the show by taking part in interactive sessions where they predict the sustainability rankings of different pieces of lab equipment based on the information available.

“Lab Innovations is a great opportunity for end users to see how our equipment works in a real laboratory environment and how the data we’ve collected can be replicated in their own labs to help them to be more sustainable,” explained Andy Evans, director at Green Light Labs and host of Lab Innovations’ The Sustainable Laboratory.

The Sustainable Laboratory will also highlight the importance of the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) certification, which provides scientists with an innovative scheme to drive improvements in lab efficiency and improve sustainability. Martin Farley from University College London and King’s College London will be on hand at to share more insight into the role of LEAF in the sustainable labs of the future.

In addition to The Sustainable Laboratory, Evans’ will also present the latest data on lab sustainability in a presentation in the show’s Royal Society of Chemistry theatre entitled ‘The best movies you’ve never heard of and lab sustainability’. In it, Evans will take the audience through some of the hidden gems of the movie industry and how they relate to the latest research in lab sustainability with impacts in new technology, best practice and procurement.

Some of the key themes that Evans will discuss include the latest case studies on innovation in cold storage and fume hood technology and opportunities for the lab industry to reduce its energy consumption and cut carbon emissions by adopting new practices.

Finally,  there are two categories dedicated to sustainability at this year’s Lab Awards — a special event celebrating the achievements of the entire lab industry — being held on the afternoon of November 2 in partnership with Laboratory News. The lab awards celebrate all the key achievements of the lab industry and the shortlist is due to be announced soon.

“It is vital that the lab industry does everything it can to become more sustainable, which is why sustainability is a key theme for Lab Innovations this year,” explained Aleiya Lonsdale, head of event for Lab Innovations. “Between the new sustainability trail, The Sustainable Laboratory feature and talks from industry leaders on the topic of sustainability, we hope to facilitate discussions and collaborations between the leading organisations and professionals when it comes to lab sustainability. Furthermore, Lab Innovations will showcase the most innovative and effective technology, techniques and procedures for improving lab sustainability.”