Lab Innovations, the UK’s trade show dedicated to the laboratory industry, will have a new focus this year on the increasingly important aspect of the “Sustainable Laboratory”. Taking place on 31 October & 1 November 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham, Lab Innovations attendees can visit the new Sustainable Laboratory area to see and discuss the latest developments in environmentally friendly products. The sustainable initiatives theme is also a core topic running through the agendas in both the Royal Society of Chemistry theatre and the “Insights and Innovations” theatre.
Why is lab sustainability so important? “In a nutshell, if every lab achieved more sustainable practices, in the UK alone we’d be saving hundreds of millions in costs every year. Funding would go further, research could grow and our impact upon the environment would be reduced,” explains Andy Evans, Green Light Laboratories, who is overseeing the new Sustainable Laboratory area. “Any organisation can easily improve their lab sustainability. At the exciting new area, visitors to Lab Innovations 2018 will be shown how improvements in technology, procurement and best practice can reduce running costs whilst safeguarding the science.”
With over a decade of experience in lab equipment sustainability, Andy Evans works with scientific organisations to reduce energy consumption, minimise carbon emissions and reduce wasteful practices. He is currently working with SLS, Liebherr and Eppendorf (see them on the SLS Pavilion) on two case studies to highlight the impact of set points and racking on cold storage performance and running costs. Both studies are being carried out at prestigious research institutions. Andy is drawing on his knowledge in collaboration with technical specialists and leading universities for the Sustainable Laboratory area. Here, there will be guided tours of a lab filled with equipment which will deliver savings in running costs. Every item of equipment will have its own case study carried out with renowned institutions who will also be on hand to discuss their experiences.
‘Reduce, reuse and recycle’ is regularly repeated advice to people to reduce their impact on the environment, but the methods to reuse and recycle things are not always clear. To give just one example, although modern electronic waste contains a wealth of precious metals, recovering it is sadly not yet economically feasible. Day two of the Lab Innovations 2018 conference in the Royal Society of Chemistry theatre will focus on the environment. Here speakers from Tradebe toxic waste disposal and Bio Bean Biochemistry will talk about their approaches to help reuse, recycle, or at least safely dispose of waste.
Visitors to the main exhibition will also discover new environmentally friendly products and examples of sustainable techniques on exhibitor stands. For example, labs can use a colossal amount of energy - three to five times more than an equivalent office space, so manufacturers have been working hard to develop equipment that uses less electricity and is more environment friendly. One area involves use of LED lighting instead of fluorescent lighting inside plant growth & stability cabinets. As an example of success in this field, on stand J12, Alphatech will be demonstrating an Aralab FitoClima 600PLH plant growth/stability/photostability chamber featuring LED lights, which reduce electricity use by 40%-60% compared to conventional fluorescent lighting.
“By working closely with our scientific advisory board, exhibitors and other industry experts, Lab Innovations 2018 will give visitors a well-rounded overview of the possibilities and opportunities of sustainable lab practices and environmentally friendly products,” said Alison Willis, Divisional Director, Lab Innovations. “Any laboratory can make significant savings. Come to Lab Innovations 2018 to find out from the experts how you can make your lab ‘greener’ and save money too.”