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Graduates‘ advancement for sustainable research

June 23, 2023

This summer marks a turning point in the graduates school’s perspective on the ecological footprints left by our labs. Nobody who has ever worked in a research laboratory can deny that our way of working there are far from environmentally friendly. Massive amounts of single-use plastic items and hundreds of highly energy-consuming devices running 24/7 prove the exact opposite. A first step in dealing with these issues is determining where exactly the biggest flaws lie. For this purpose we invited the lab sustainability expert Dr Kerstin Hermuth-Kleinschmidt (NIUB Nachhaltigkeitsberatung, Freiburg). In a compelling and eye-opening seminar talk that was part of the graduate school’s Peer-to-Peer program, she pointed out the key culprits in terms of resource consumption and waste production that are present in almost every conventional lab.

Fortunately, she did not simply paint a pessimistic picture of what is wrong, but also illustrated strategies for overcoming these challanges – both on a personal and the institutional level, underpinned by inspiring real-life examples of institutions that have already taken the first big steps toward a more sustainable research. With this educational input as a starting point, members of our graduate school used the collaborative spirit of the 2023 summer school to develop sustainability principles to be implemented in the SFB labs. With a variety of ideas generated in a dedicated sustainability work shop, we intend to hope to contribute in making the SFB's cardio-renal research more environmentally friendly and greener.

Rosanna, Nicolas, and Camilla (Peer-to-peer orga team)


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