SUSTAINABILITY

BEGINS AT HOME

Our dedication to sustainability is not just a business imperative; it is a moral responsibility to ensure that our actions contribute positively to society and the planet. We place sustainability firmly at the core of our strategic vision and ensure that it is a driver in all of our business decisions. 

We believe a truly sustainable future is characterised by continuous improvement, collaboration, and innovation, but we also recognise that the journey may not always be linear. With the aim to be progressively transparent about the impact of our business, we are committed to publishing an annual sustainability report to provide a comprehensive overview of business-wide sustainability management at SLS. 

We are pleased to present our first sustainability report for 2022. Read the report here.

 

Our 2023 report is currently in development and will be published later this year. If you would like to learn more about our more recent progress towards sustainable and responsible business practices, please get in touch with our Sustainability Manager.

 


4000 TREES

We planted 4000 trees.

NEW ROLE SUSTAINABILITY MANAGER

We recruited for a new position of Sustainability Manager.

FIRST SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

We developed our first annual sustainability report.

 

1960 KG COLLECTED

We collected 1960kg of pipette tip boxes from customers thanks to our Plastic 2 Purpose scheme.

 

BRONZE ECOVADIS RATING

We received a Bronze Ecovadis rating.

 

37 TONNES

We diverted 37 metric tonnes of waste from landfill in 2022, avoiding 10tCO2e.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ATTRIBUTES


We recognise that determining the sustainability of products you bring into the lab is a difficult and often complex process; there are currently many different approaches on how more sustainable products are marketed.


Faced with such complexity, it is often easy to embrace ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ icons or narratives. But you can often be faced with the question of how or why they deserve this ‘eco’ status.

At SLS, our aim is to provide comprehensive information about the products we sell and enable you to make the most well-informed choices as possible. Therefore, our sustainability attributes align to the following principles:

-          specific to individual products

-          evidence-based using primary data from our suppliers, and

-          aim to include as much information as possible about the entire product lifecycle

This approach will enable you to make more conscientious choices which align with your lab or organisation’s sustainability strategy.

Our attributes are defined by the five stages of a product lifecycle: from raw material, to manufacture, packaging and distribution, use in the lab, and disposal (or end-of-life)

Raw Materials

Manufacture

Packaging and Distribution

Use

Disposal

A product receives an award/icon if it meets one or more of the criteria under that lifecycle stage. By viewing a product online or in any forthcoming marketing material, you can use these icons to straight away determine how that product performs from a sustainability perspective throughout the stages of its lifecycle.

To understand why a particular product has received an award, you can click on the sustainability tab of that product and there will be a list of criteria specific to that product from the list below:

Raw material:

-          Made using more than 80% recycled or renewable material

-          Made using material with a reduced environmental impact, e.g. a refrigerant with a low GWP (Global Warming Potential)

-          Designed to reduce the use of raw materials

 

Manufacture:

-          Made in a facility which runs on >90% renewable energy

-          Measures were in place during the manufacture of this product to reduce energy consumption

-          Measures were in place during the manufacture of this product to generate less waste

-          Measures were in please during the manufacture of this product to reduce water usage

-          Aligns with the principles of green chemistry

 

Packaging/distribution:

-          Manufactured in the UK or Ireland

-          Country of origin has an Environmental Performance Index (EPI) greater than 60

-          Plastic-free packaging

-          Reduces the need for packaging

-          Packaging return scheme offered for this product

 

Use:

-          Product contributes to a reduced energy consumption

-          Product contributes to a reduced water consumption

-          Product reduces or replaces the need for consumables

-          Built to last – minimum 5-year warranty, and spare part-servicing available

 

Disposal:

-          Product is recyclable (excludes packaging). A recycling or repurposing scheme is offered for this product.

-          A feature of this product enhances its biodegradability.

 

It is important to note that these attributes do not provide quantitative carbon metrics for the product lifecycle.

For information or advice on how you can improve sustainability in your lab, contact our Sustainability Manager Lucy Moore - lcmoore@scientific-labs.com. 

 

TIPS FOR A

SUSTAINABLE LAB

Centrifuge tubes

Glass centrifuge tubes

Pipette tips

Volumetric (bulb) pipettes or graduated if Class A
accuracy is not required. <1mL - use microsyringe with
repeating despenser attachment

Weighing boats

Weighing papers or glass boats, FSC certified paper or weighing boats

Tubes & bottles

Substitute glass wherever possible

Single-Use Plastics

  • Where possible substitute plastics with glass, card or paper
  • Whilst it is good to recycle its even better to re-use or reduce. Where sterility isnt critical
  • e.g. teaching labs, reusing will not only cut plastic waste but reduce costs
    • If possible, reduce the size of tube or container that you use
    • Try to cut down on packaging  buy in bulk and share resources with others

 

Saving Energy

  • ULT Freezers  by increasing the temperature from -80 to -70 the energy consumption is potentially reduced by up to 37%. Not only that, it puts less strain on the compressor and lengthens the life of the freezer!
    • Use racking  prevents big temperature changes
    • Keep an inventory so old samples arent taking up valuable space  cutting down the need for more freezer space
    • Keep opening times down to a minimum
    • Defrost regularly
  • Fume Hoods  generally ventilation systems and fume hoods can fall into two categories  Constant Air Volume (CAV) and Variable Air Volume (VAV). The amount air flowing through VAV fume hoods can be adjusted by the height of the sash. If the sash is lowered the speed of the exhaust fan and the volume of air being exhausted is reduced. The energy savings could be as much as 40%
  • Drying Cabinets  use a timer switch so these aren't left on overnight or over the weekend
  • Laminar Flow and Biosafety Cabinets  turn off when not in use. They can consume around 15kWh/day  about half as much as an average house!
  • Energy  anything thats used for heating or cooling can consume a lot of energy so switch it off when not inuse. Alternatively use timer switches so equipment can be turned on and ready for use first thing  if needs be. Remember the heat generated from freezers, water baths, Dri Blocks, ovens etc will also make your labs air con work harder and in turn increase energy usage

Labs consume three to five times more energy than the equivalent sized office

Other Considerations

Estimated life span of product

Origin of product

Water consumption

Disposal/removal of product

Packaging and disposal thereof

Recyclability

INDEPENDENT

CASE STUDIES

We commission independent case studies, carried out by Green Light Laboratories, looking into different sustainable issues within the laboratory

If you have an idea for sustainable case study - please speak to your local SLS representative

Examples of case studies include:

Eppendorf F740HI Racking Study

Introduction

Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) freezers are well known to be high consumers of energy. Holding set temperatures 90°C to 100°C colder than their environment will always require a significant amount of energy.

One way to reduce ULT freezer energy consumption is to warm up the set temperature. By doing so energy consumption will be reduced from 18-34% depending on the model, age & condition of the freezer.

When considering warming up their ULT freezers, some end users raise concerns that by taking such an action they may expose their samples/contents to unfavorable temperatures during their day to day operation.

Find out more.


READ MORE

Door Opening Performance Study, Fridges and Freezers - University of Bristol

This study aims to highlight some of the data and criteria which should be considered when selecting the most sustainable solution based on the specific needs of the researcher, their laboratory and the materials they are storing.


READ MORE

Barts Cancer Institute Tissue Culture Labs Sustainability

A look at how Barts Cancer Institute have used the  iWash™, the world’s first and only slide washer especially designed for single-use cell counter slides to improve sustainability in their tissue culture labs.


READ MORE

ULT Freezer Racking Study with the University of Oxford and Green Light Laboratories

Read the report from Green Light Laboratories on the impact of ULT racking upon performance at the University of Oxford below.

The data was collected over a two week period at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. The Eppendorf ULT freezer (F570h) tested was supplied for the study by us and the racking was supplied by Westbart.


Visit the URL to view additional information »

Shaking Incubator Energy Consumption Case Study

Report from Green Light Laboratories on 'Shaking Incubator Energy Consumption' at the Francis Crick Institute, Kings College London and M.R.C Laboratory of Molecular Biology.


Visit the URL to view additional information »

Comparing the Performance of Fridges Case Study

Report from Green Light Laboratories comparing the performance of energy and temperature on a range of fridges at the University of Birmingham. 


Visit the URL to view additional information »

Best Practice to Minimise Lab Freezer Running Costs

A case study on the best practice to minimise lab freezer running costs in the Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick. 


Visit the URL to view additional information »

SLS SERVICE

CENTRE

Be more sustainable by servicing your laboratory equipment instead of replacing it. Servicing helps to prolong the life of lab equipment and avoid repeat purchases, saving you money but alsoreducing unnecessary waste.

 

SLS understand that when it comes to servicing equipment, speed and convenience are just as important as the quality of the workmanship. That is why the SLS Service Centre tailors itsservice to meet each customer’s specific requirements. Our experienced, fully qualified, industry authorised engineers and service partners can service and repair a broad range of laboratory instrumentation nationwide.

 

You will find our service options available here.You can click here to send us the details of your enquiry or call us on 0115 977 5075 where we will be happy to assist.

SLS

SUSTAINABILITY

We believe in looking at our own impact on the environment and continuously work to look for ways in which we can lessen it through alternatives and innovation. Watch the video below to find out more.



CERTIFICATES

AND POLICIES

We take our CSR very seriously and this not only covers our sustainability goals, but other areas including human rights, equal opportunities, modern slavery, environmental and waste management.

If you have an idea for sustainable case study - please speak to your local SLS representative

If you can't find the document you are seeking please contact us.

Environmental Policy Statement
Corporate Social Responsibility Policy
Modern Slavery Statement
Equal Opportunities Policy
Waste Management Policy
REGO Certification
SLS Sustainability Policy
WEEE Compliance Certificate
Carbon Reduction Plan