Promoting Sustainability in Clinical Laboratories: The Green Lab Initiative in Clinical Chemistry
Rizwana Kausar, Assistant Manager
Department of Chemical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
During my attendance at the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry Conference 2022 in South Korea as a young scientist from Pakistan, I had the privilege of learning about Green Labs, which focus on decluttering, reusing, recycling, and energy conservation to promote sustainability in clinical laboratories. Inspired by this concept, I dedicated time to gather and organize relevant items for my role in the Section of Chemical Pathology. Upon returning, I proposed a Green Lab project within my section to incorporate these principles into our daily practices.
The term "Green Lab" refers to initiatives to advance environmentally friendly procedures in clinical laboratories while upholding the integrity of the testing process and patient safety. Clinical laboratories must implement sustainable solutions to address environmental concerns by reducing energy use, resource consumption, and waste production, affecting staff actions and resource protection.
In order to promote sustainable practices within our section, we established a dedicated team called the "Green Team," consisting of faculty members, technologists, managers, and the section head. The Green Team conducted a comprehensive lab survey to identify areas where sustainable practices could be implemented and raised awareness within the department regarding resource conservation and waste reduction. The survey revealed a lack of environmental awareness among clinical laboratories.
The primary objective of the Green Lab Project is to educate staff members about the significance of the environment and the potential risks associated with Clinical Chemistry procedures. This initiative encourages eco-friendly actions, including reducing energy consumption and promoting waste recycling, with the aim of creating a greener future and setting a positive example for other laboratories to follow.
The achieved outcomes encompass heightened environmental awareness, the adoption of electronic signatures and document digitization, and successful energy conservation efforts. Green lab practices are vital for ensuring a sustainable future in clinical laboratories. By promoting environmental responsibility, raising awareness, and setting an example for other laboratories, we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint and preserve valuable resources.