Laboratories and technical spaces

Labs, workshops and technical spaces require numerous resources to run effectively and produce more specialist waste streams than a typical office. We have networks and groups to support staff and students operating in these spaces to efficiently manage resources without negatively impacting on the work taking place.

Our key targets 

Key targets outlined in our strategy include:

  • All laboratories to achieve a Bronze LEAF award by 2025. 
  • 25% of laboratories to achieve a Silver LEAF award. 
  • All laboratories to adopt the 6R Responsible Plastics Protocol. 


The Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) is a higher education sector-wide framework that offers guidance and criteria to improve the sustainability and efficiency of research and teaching laboratory spaces. 

Staff at the University can download the full LEAF user guide (Word Doc, 812KB) to find out how to get involved.   

6R Responsible Plastics Protocol

Plastics are cheap and convenient, but their production and waste take a toll on the environment. The University follows the 6R Responsible Plastics Protocol and its following principles:

  • Refine protocol and optimise waste management. 
  • Reduce single-use plastic.
  • Use recycled material. 
  • Re-use plastic containers and gloves. 
  • Refill plastic and glass containers for each class. 
  • Replace plastics where possible with glass, paper or wood. 

The approach is inspired by 'reduce, reuse and refine' (Word Doc, 17.6MB), and can be adapted to day-to-day life. It is designed to help people be aware of and combat plastic waste whenever and wherever possible.