LEAF (Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) is a sector-wide framework containing a set of criteria aimed at improving the sustainability and efficiency of research and teaching laboratory spaces. Such spaces include typical wet laboratories, science teaching spaces, and IT research laboratories.

Teams taking part work to improve the environmental performance of their laboratory throughout the year. This is done by working through clear and easy to implement environmental actions in the LEAF spreadsheet, categorised into Bronze, Silver and, Gold.

Crucially, LEAF seeks to produce comparable data on efficiency and sustainability, through the use of in-tool calculators, thus allowing quantifiable baselines, targets, and measures to be developed. Calculators are completed by team members before and after participating.

LEAF focuses solely on actions you can take in laboratory locations. We encourage individuals also based in an office to take part in our Team Actions programme.

How to get involved?

Teams are organised by themselves and can be based in laboratories or workshops and anyone can initiate and lead a team. LEAF isn't designed for whole-buildings so team sizes should cover a research group within a lab, a whole lab or a group of labs.

Once you have registered you will be supported by the Environmental Sustainability Team throughout the year.

To take part in LEAF, simply:

  1. Complete the short online registration form
  2. Email the Environmental Sustainability Team to request a LEAF spreadsheet.

Once you have signed up you can get started with the actions. Arrange an initial meeting with all of your team members, have a look at the criteria and decide how you want to tackle it throughout the year.

The LEAF cycle will run to October 2021 and culminates in an awards ceremony and celebration in December 2021.

A midway audit will be offered in March / April 2021 and a final audit in October / November 2021.

How does the scoring work?

To gain the various award levels you will need to complete all of the actions within each award category i.e. for a Gold award your team will need to complete and provide evidence for all of the Bronze and Silver criteria too.

If you believe that some criteria are not applicable to your lab, please contact the Environmental Sustainability Team.

Mailing list

To receive the latest information and events for LEAF you can sign up to the mailing list.


A SharePoint site is a website that provides a central storage and collaboration space for documents, information, and ideas. The Sustainable Labs SharePoint contains resources and information from other teams that can be used to guide and inspire your work