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Martin Howes, our Sustainable Labs Coordinator, works hard to improve the environmental performance of labs and research facilities across the University, primarily by leading on the Green Labs initiative.

Let’s see what Martin does on a typical day…

First thing:

I take a look at my emails and assess any applications for the Equipment Replacement Programme that I’ve received. The Equipment Replacement Programme provides financial support for the replacement of old drying cabinets and ultra-low temperature freezers with new, energy efficient models.  For details on how to access this finding, see


I meet with a Lab Manager this morning to discuss how the Environment and Energy Section can help them reduce the energy consumption in their lab. There are some ideas on our website – see When I’m back in the office, I look at the data from plug-in energy monitors which have been installed on large pieces of equipment. I calculate the potential savings of replacing the equipment with newer, more efficient models, and engage with supplier representatives to investigate what’s on the market.

Figure 1: Engagement with lab users (whilst sometimes wearing a bike seat cover!) is a big part of Martin’s role


In the afternoon, I prepare for the upcoming ‘Green Labs: Lab Energy’ workshops, writing the agenda and finalising speakers. There’s still time to book onto one of the workshops (being held in both central Cambridge and the Biomedical Campus) -

Before I leave:

Before heading home, I gather materials together for tomorrow’s meetings and check with other members of the team whether there are any messages they’d like me share. I also check and update resources on the website and answer some queries raised by our Green Impact Labs teams -

Figure 2: Martin presenting at a past Green Labs workshop

Read next... A day in the life of the energy team!