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i3S strengthens commitment to more sustainable research

On the past 22nd of September, the i3S Greenlab Initiative participated on the first GreenLabs Portugal Symposium: Promoting Sustainability in Research, organized by the national network of Greenlabs (GLPT) and held at the University of Coimbra. This event gathered 89 participants from several national Universities and research Institutes to discuss and share sustainable approaches and best practices in science, as a means to promote a sustainable research.

Members of the i3S Greenlab Initiative showcased i3S efforts towards a more sustainable institute and shared their experience as the pioneer institute obtaining a green laboratory certification (LEAF certificate). They also engaged on dynamic activities and participated in a fruitful “Ask the green teams” game.

“The first symposium of Green Labs Portugal was successful to join together researchers from different fields of research. It was really great that we had the opportunity to share with them our sustainable practices and struggles to reduce i3S carbon footprint”, said Christiane Salgado.

The symposium also counted with the participation of members from major supply companies, such as NYZtech, Laborders and Alfagene, the Sustainable European Laboratories network (SELs), and a representative from FCT, all important stakeholders that have demonstrated awareness towards this subject.

“It was interesting to appreciate that most researchers share common struggles to decrease the laboratory carbon footprint. For instance, the excessive plastic waste that we generate in our labs was one of the main issues pointed out, and the alternatives have produced very little effects. It became clear that there is still great work to be done”, said Daniela Sousa.

The day culminated with the official signing of a Letter of Commitment for sustainable research practices by the members of GLPT, including i3S (founding member of GLPT), ITQB - Nova, IMM, CIIMAR, CIBB, InPP, iBiMED. “By signing this letter of commitment, the institutions pledged to various actions to reduce the carbon, energetic and waste footprint within their laboratories, buildings and surrounding areas, and also to promote sustainability training and educational seminars”, explains Joana Magalhaes (GLPT coordinator).

In the end of the day, i3S Greenlab’s take home message is that “we are on the right path for a sustainable Institute, yet greater efforts should be undertaken to make our research greener.”

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