Brown University’s labs are an essential component of teaching, learning, and research and innovation.   The Green Lab Program works with faculty, staff, and students to increase the sustainability of labs without compromising, and in some cases enhancing, learning and research outcomes.  Brown’s growing Green Labs Program aims to:

  • Reduce energy and water use
  • Promote sustainable lab purchasing practices
  • Minimize and divert waste from the landfill/incinerator
  • Promote Green Chemistry where appropriate

Brown’s Green Labs Program is in development through the SSPAC Environment, Health, and Wellness working group that was formed in fall 2016. These initiatives are a collaboration between Facilities Management’s Energy and Environment Office, Biomed Facilities Planning & Operation, Environmental Health & Safety, and members of the Brown community.

Unoccupied Lab Ventilation Initiative

Conditioning of outside air is an energy intensive process but essential for laboratory safety. We are working to reduce ventilation rates when labs are unoccupied.  For periods when there is little or no risk to lab occupants, this initiative will reduce the amount of outside air required to be conditioned in order to make-up for ventilation required for fume hoods.  

'Shut the Sash' Reminders

To encourage safety and energy savings across campus, it is important to shut the fume hood sash when it is not in use. These stickers placed on the side of fume hoods will serve as friendly reminders that can help you keep Brown’s labs safe and sustainable.

Fume Hoods.JPG

Fume Hood Stickersaption

Stoplight Stickers

The stoplight system saves energy by encouraging lab users to turn off equipment that might otherwise be left on and protects research by ensuring that equipment that is being actively used is left on.

  • A red ‘stop’ sticker placed on equipment means that this equipment should stay on at all times.
  • A yellow ‘caution’ sticker placed on equipment means that lab users should contact the person whose name is written on the sticker before turning off equipment.
  • A green ‘go’ sticker placed on equipment means that it can and should be turned off when not in use.


Equipment Stoplight Stickers

Why are these measures being taken?

  1. To increase lab safety.
  2. To protect research. These measures will help to ensure that equipment is not shut off while in use.
  3. To save energy. Labs use a lot of energy, just because of the nature of the work that happens in them. They’re worth the investment, but this also leaves room for substantial energy savings.

Want to Learn More?

  • If you would like more stoplight stickers, please contact the Energy and Environment Office at 401-863-7939.
  • If you have questions about placing the stoplight stickers on equipment in your lab, please contact your lab manager to ensure proper implementation.
  • If you have questions about the ‘Shut the Sash’ stickers, please contact the Energy and Environment Office at 401-863-7939.