Thursday, January 26, 2023 -
12:00 to 13:00
Specific location: 
Room 201

BMC Seminar Thursday 26th of January at 12:00 in Læknagarður, room 343


Speaker: Dr. Katrín Möller, postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Hans Tómas Björnsson, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland.


Title: Sustainability in laboratories


The climate crisis is by now an integrated part of our everyday lives. While scientific research is critical to understanding our world, the resources it consumes also damage our environment. Laboratories typically consume 10x more energy than office buildings and are the second most energy-intensive industry (per square meter) out there. Furthermore, it is estimated that academic laboratories generate around 5.5 million tons of plastic waste per year, a fact that is perhaps not surprising to those working in the lab. While many have already changed their habits at home, by recycling, consuming less meat and taking public transportation, very few are addressing this topic in the laboratory. It is clear that changing the ways in which we do scientific research will contribute significantly to the global reduction of our carbon footprint. But which part of our research work has the biggest footprint and what can we do about it?

In this talk, I will address what some of the biggest polluters in research laboratories are, present what actions from several other research institutes and go through some tips and tricks that we can all implement in our everyday research, without affecting the quality of our work. Finally, I will introduce two European programs, LEAF and SELs, designed to help laboratories and departments become more sustainable.


Katrín is a Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Hans Tómas Björnsson at the University of Iceland. She finished her PhD in Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Zürich in march 2022, where the amount of plastic waste made her start thinking of the environmental impact of her research. During her time there she therefore became involved in several sustainability actions, including founding the Green labs Zürich action group, being a member of the Faculty of Science Sustainability team and serving as a Scientific expert in the newly founded Swiss network for green labs.


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