By Faye Murphy
On January 20th, Trinity College Dublin announced that the NatPro Centre had become Green Lab Certified. NatPro, the Trinity Centre for Natural Products Research, received the green level award, which is the highest level of certification and is only the second lab in the country to receive this certification. This level of accreditation is awarded to any lab that enacts 80% or more of the actions Green Labs recommends to them.
The Green Lab certification process is recognised by the UN Race to Zero Campaign and is believed to be a key player in creating carbon-zero pharmaceutical companies. Yvonne Buckley, Trinity’s Vice Provost for Biodiversity & Climate Action, believes that the NatPro certification is an “outstanding achievement in providing innovative natural products research together with reducing their impact on the environment”. She also thinks it is “inspiring” as more and more labs are “increasing the sustainability of their world-class research”.
Dr Gaia Scalabrino, NatPro’s Executive Director, mentioned that NatPro “felt responsible to address global concerns, such as climate change, starting with tangible daily actions”. Scalabrino also stated that they “embedded green practices across the board, from strategic planning to operations and lab practices. It became an integral part of our culture”. Scalabrino proceeded to state that she was “thrilled to contribute to TCD’s green lab ecosystem and national sustainability goals”. NatPro Green Lab Ambassador Peter O’Connell mentioned that NatPro’s sustainability success was due to “significant improvements across the My Green Lab assessment topics, including resource management, travel and procurement, as well as the more lab focused topics, such as waste, energy and water usage”.
Michele Hallahan, Office of the Provost’s Sustainability Advisor, credits that the green level of certification for NatPro “shows the depth and breadth of dedication that the team have for minimising the environmental impacts of lab practices”. All the while, Dr Rachael Relph, Chief Sustainability Officer at My Green Lab, said that NatPro “did an outstanding job” and that My Green Lab “look forward to supporting the dozens of other Irish labs currently in the program”.
For more information on the certification process, visit: https://www.mygreenlab.org/green-lab-certification.html/#certificationprocess