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Green Research Committe 3rd meeting

Posted by Naveen Baarla on June 6, 2023

June 6, 2023 Green Research Committee Meeting 3

Present: Shari Effert-Fanta, Paul Foote, Jennifer Fraterrigo, Stephanie Hess, Daphne Hulse, Tim Mies, Lisa Moore, Jeremy Neighbors, Chad Stevens, Sabrina Summers

Absent: Mitchell Bryant, Maisie Kingren, Morgan White

Charge 1

  • Consolidated information document, provided by Jeremy
    • Walkthrough the document
    • We should be aiming to staff a Green Research Director
      • And then staff underneath the director
        • Could be student workers or full-time employees
    • Short term goals
    • Long term goals
  • Chemical inventory - Stephanie
    • Central inventory funded by campus
    • Stuck out to Susan Martinis as an opportunity worth exploring
  • Engagement role out - Jen
    • Integrate it with the annual lab meetings with DRS staff to ensure safety compliance
      • A great point in time to evaluate opportunities with sustainability each year
      • Allows opportunity for face time with green research. Especially considering how busy PIs are
    • Lab audits - Stephanie
      • Are already quite long - DRS has a year-long timeline to get these done
      • Can sprinkle in sustainability opportunities here and can combine safety and sustainability (shut the sash)
    • Lunch & Learns are great in theory but maybe are not going to show strong attendance in practice
  • Where does this green research live? What does it tie into? - Jeremy
    • OVCRI, iSEE?
    • October timeline is best according to Susan, Madhu, and Ehab because spring is when budgeting takes place. Allows them to go and ask for funding
    • Extension is possible but the timeline for budgeting is improved if we can get it in by October
    • Chem inventory is digestible as we can save a lot of money if chemicals are better managed
      • Burden would be on the researchers to manage what comes in and out
      • Could argue for a person to do this, but Stephanie thinks it is more wise to ask campus to pursue purchasing a software and then researchers input the information
      • DRS does not have staffing or funds currently to do such a program
  • Funding Inventory software - Stephanie shared document

Charge 2

  • Comprehensive certification program - Paul
    • My Green Lab already has an existing certification program
      • Flat rate for certifying a bulk number of labs (at Vancouver University, 50 labs certified for $10,000).
      • 160-170 topics that are over viewed
      • On a sliding scale (3 tiers)
      • Do a first round assessment and then come back in 6-12 months to reassess
      • Right now it does not extend beyond labs - not fieldwork or farms
        • Could still apply a lot of the stuff but we may need to do our own version of it for our labs
      • Need to be careful of the line between green labs and green research
        • Some labs are disadvantaged by the building itself
        • Want to be careful of not handcuffing researchers to achieve sustainability; they are doing important work
        • Think about behavior-based (recycling) rather than mechanical-based opportunities
      • Rewarding labs based on safety, too
        • Some only work with ethanol
        • Some work with 8,000 chemicals
        • May not be able to be audit-based for this reason
    • Could create our own that is more robust and custom to what we do at the university
    • Chad thinks the chemical inventory could tie into this portion well. Forcing the labs to take a look at what chemicals they have before purchasing more (if they are above the fire safety limit)
    • In Paul’s observations, PIs that are not included in the creation/design process mean very few labs will actually sign up
    • Opportunities to reward many:
      • Most occupant engaged building
      • Most improved building
      • Most energy saved building

Charge 3

  • Really a facilities question, Tim is thinking.
  • Not on the researcher to be responsible for that
  • Funds are already strapped
  • Charge 3 is about how we prioritize funding for these.
  • Where do transportation costs fall?
    • Behavior-based changes like with carpooling
    • Cutting down airfare (zoom meetings)
    • Transportation of presenting research
      • Incentivize behaviors)
    • Electric vehicles
      • F&S sustainable transportation is tackling this topic currently - electric vehicles within the university fleet
      • Increasing charging infrastructure on campus
      • Figuring out how labs fit into this


  • Leave comments and suggestions on the two documents presented today