Green Labs

The University of Alberta supports our research community in building healthy, safe and green teaching and research labs. Laboratories are unique environments with communities engaging in research and learning, but these activities also generate waste and consume significant resources. With Green Labs, it's easier for researchers to maintain environmentally-responsible and healthy laboratories.

  • The Green Labs Leaders Network connects lab users interested in leading by example and educating the research community about safe and sustainable lab practices. If this sounds like you, join the network
  • Lab users can green their labs with a growing range of UAlberta-specific tools, including Green Spaces certification for labs and the upcoming Green Labs Companion Document (stay tuned!).
  • Do you have a project in mind to green your lab? Apply for funding for a feasibility study through the Sustainability Enhancement Fund
  • Apply for Green Labs Funding.

Model Green Labs

Model green labs show lab users what safe and sustainable labs look like and which key features demonstrate sustainable practices. People can visit the labs, learn from the users' experiences, and actively participate in the broader green labs community. Get to know the model green labs below, or book a tour.

  • Augustana Miquelon Lake Research Station

    Augustana Miquelon Lake Research Station is a state-of-the-art facility run by the faculty at Augustana Campus. The site is perfect for a variety of research, fieldwork, and teaching opportunities, as well as professional development and community events. 

    Sustainability is integral to the site and its operations. The research station is located within a provincial park, surrounded by wildlife, wetlands and boreal forest. The station is fully equipped for overnight or long-term visits. Guests have access to beds, washrooms, a kitchen, a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, and wifi. For work purposes, there is a meeting room, an office, a wet lab, and research equipment.

    Glen Hvenegaard, director of the research station, encourages instructors, researchers and community members to consider ways that they could use the site and to contact him with inquiries.

  • Campus Saint-Jean chemistry lab

    All three of Campus Saint-Jean's laboratories are certified Green Spaces Gold, and the chemistry lab is one of the University of Alberta's four model green labs.

    This achievement isn't surprising, as the chemistry lab has been a site of great ingenuity over the past year. In 2015, undergraduate student Alex Schoeddert found a new way to reduce water waste in the lab. Working with Sarah Pelletier (faculty service officer) and Keshwaree Vima Babooram (faculty service officer and chemistry professor), Schoeddert built a water recycling system that will save up to 7,200 litres of water each year. This initiative helped the Campus Saint-Jean teaching labs win a Campus Sustainability Leadership Award in April 2016.

  • Jason Dyck cardiovascular research lab

    Jason Dyck's cardiovascular research lab made waves this summer when it acquired a new piece of equipment that will help make experiments a whole lot greener. The machine is named Wes, and its technology will eliminate the need for traditional western blotting, a common and resource-intensive procedure. (Read more about Wes.)

    The lab started participating in the Green Labs program three years ago, and it was the university's first medical research lab to get a Green Spaces gold certification. In honour of these ongoing sustainability efforts, the team received a Campus Sustainability Leadership Award in 2015.

  • West Group chemistry lab

    Chemistry often gets a bad rap when it comes to sustainability, but many lab users are hoping to turn that reputation around. Professor Frederick West's research lab team, also known as the West Group, advocates for doing lab work with sustainability in mind.

    To that end, the lab is getting rid of water aspirators and installing alternative aspirators that use compressed air to function. This change could save the lab about 16,000 litres of water every single day!

Ultra-Low-Temperature Freezer Rebate

New applications are no longer being accepted at this time, as funding has been fully disbursed up to March 31, 2018. The rebate program for April 1, 2018–March 31, 2019 is also under review. Please contact if you have any questions.

Ultra-low-temperature (ULT) freezers are some of the biggest consumers of energy in laboratories. As they age, they become inefficient, generating more heat and becoming more costly to maintain. We estimate that an old unit can consume as much energy as a single-family household in Alberta each year.

Don't let your lab house an old, inefficient freezer. Take advantage of this rebate offered through the Sustainability Enhancement Fund and get a new, high-performing, energy-efficient freezer that generates less heat and noise.

  • Ways to get the rebate

    Fisher Scientific, a preferred supplier, sells the TSX Series ultra-low temperature freezer. Depending on your situation, apply for one of the following streams of funding:

    TSX Series freezer as a replacement: $3,500 available per unit.

    TSX Series freezer brand new: $1,500 available per unit.

    Other ULT freezer as a replacement: $1,500 available per unit. New ULT freezer must consume less than 10 kWh/day.

  • Rebate eligibility

    Any University of Alberta student, staff or faculty member working in a laboratory is eligible to apply, provided that they are current owners of an aging ULT they would like to replace or they are seeking to increase their storage capacity with an additional freezer.

    The new freezer must be purchased after June 1, 2016.

    The old freezer must be properly disposed of through Surplus Services. Labs must complete an equipment decontamination form and a disposal form before Surplus Services will collect and recycle the freezer.

    Labs must have participated in at least one other Green Labs initiative, such as Green Spaces certification for labs, Shut the Sash or the Leaders Network.

    Additional requirement for replacements:

    Any ULT freezer being replaced must be at least 10 years old.

    Additional requirement for brand new purchases:

    Provide a brief written statement detailing the lab's need for a new ULT freezer.

  • Apply

    Apply for the ULT Freezer Rebate after ensuring your lab meets the criteria for eligibility above (proof of eligibility may be requested). The Office of Sustainability will contact you to confirm the details in your submission and make arrangements to transfer the funds to your speed code.