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LEAF - A Sustainable Labs Initiative

Sustainability isn't just a buzzword at NTU. Discover how we operate our science and technology laboratories sustainably with LEAF.

LEAF - A Sustainable Labs Initiative

NTU is proud to announce that the School of Science and Technology is amongst a host of other institutions to sign up to a new laboratory sustainability standard. LEAF has already gotten underway in the various laboratories around the school and lab users are working hard to put into place sustainability actions that will bring about monetary and carbon savings.
LEAF Initiative Logo

What is LEAF?

The Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) is a nationwide sustainability standard for laboratory operations.  Developed by UCL, LEAF has been designed to facilitate improvements in laboratory sustainability, practice and research quality by providing actions to complete in a workbook – with the aim of achieving Bronze, Silver or Gold status. Laboratory spaces typically use up to five times more energy and resources than an office space of a similar size.  By using the LEAF tool, NTU hopes to reduce the environmental impact of these laboratory spaces whilst maintaining the high quality of work that is already taking place within them.

Benefits of Gaining LEAF Certification

  • Reduced utility costs for equipment and facilities
  • Reduced environmental impact of labs
  • Improved processes within labs
  • Promotes interdisciplinary and cross-departmental collaboration between staff and staff groups
  • Strengthens relationships between technical services, academic staff, Estates staff and other stakeholders
  • Allows NTU to join the lab sustainability conversation by joining other institutions involved with LEAF
  • Aligns with NTU’s commitment to Embracing Sustainability, as part of the University, Reimagined strategic plan
  • Increased development and leadership opportunities for staff members
  • Training opportunity for staff members interested to learn about lab sustainability
  • Recognition for lab groups and lab users who perform well

How it Works

Lab users sign up to LEAF using the UCL online tool.  Once signed up, they are able to join an existing lab or create a new one.  Users will then be presented with pre-set actions to complete starting with Bronze, working up to Silver and then Gold. These actions have been proven to improve sustainability within a lab environment.  Once all of the actions for a particular level have been completed, lab users will submit their workbook and an audit will be arranged.  Once the audit has been completed satisfactorily, the lab will be awarded certification at whichever level they have completed.

Alongside the pre-set LEAF actions, there are opportunities for LEAF users to input any savings that have made outside of the LEAF tool, so all of the savings are safely captured together.

Throughout the process, all LEAF users will be supported by a group of LEAF co-ordinators, who are trained lab technicians assigned to oversee LEAF implementation within their specialist area.

How to Get Involved

For more information on LEAF at NTU, or for questions on how to get involved, please contact the School of Science and Technology’s LEAF Administrator Aaron Wood 

You can also contact the Sustainability Team for more info at

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418