Broomfield, Colo. - The Colorado Department of Agriculture is proud to announce that it has achieved the highest level of certification from My Green Lab, becoming the first government lab in the United States to achieve this level of laboratory sustainability. The My Green Lab Certification Program is a global sustainability standard that requires scientists to adopt best practices to help reduce energy, water and waste, and minimize the use of hazardous and toxic chemicals.
CDA’s laboratory waste reduction goals are in accordance with the department’s larger strategic plan goals for sustainability. CDA’s sustainability goals are also in alignment with the Greening Government Executive Order signed by Governor Polis late last year directing government operations to focus on energy efficient and sustainable practices.
"Colorado continues leading the way toward sustainability and I’m so proud of the work being done at our Department of Agriculture," said Governor Jared Polis. "It’s going to take all of us working together to reach our goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040. Colorado’s agriculture industry is a critical part of our state’s economy and will be an important part of our clean energy future."
For the last year, CDA’s Animal Health, Biochemistry and Metrology labs worked with My Green Lab, an internationally recognized non-profit dedicated to building sustainability processes and standards for laboratories, to implement energy, water and waste-saving measures within their Broomfield, Colorado laboratory operations.
"I was incredibly impressed with the work the scientists at the Colorado Department of Agriculture did," said Rachael Relph, Chief Sustainability Officer at My Green Lab. "They made considerable changes to how they were using energy intensive equipment like fume hoods and cold storage, and found ways to reduce waste and implement green chemistry techniques in the labs."
My Green Lab estimates that CDA was able to reduce energy usage by 187,000 kWh per year, the equivalent of driving a passenger car 328,000 miles, or about 13 times around the earth. Additionally, water usage was reduced by an estimated 460,000 gallons per year, and waste by nearly 400 pounds per year.
"Increasing our awareness of the important role our laboratories play in environmental responsibility, from how much energy the lab equipment uses to the amount of plastic waste we generate each day, can be alarming--but it can also be motivating and empowering to know that we can make these changes," said Dacia Brunker, CDA Laboratory Scientist and on-site coordinator for the Green Lab Program.
Next, the Laboratory Division plans to compete in the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge, a competition created by My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories to promote best practices in cold storage management.
Learn more about the CDA Division of Laboratory Services, which include the Animal Health, Biochemistry and Metrology labs, here and the My Green Lab Certification Program here.