Author: Quentin Gilly, Harvard Office for Sustainability
Published: April 2019

If you’re a researcher, simple actions like shutting of lights and closing fume hood can be your biggest contribution to the environment.

Laboratories are a major source of energy use at Harvard.  There are many strategies for making labs more efficient, such as upgrading fume hoods and lighting systems, running energy competitions with the researchers, and putting reminder stickers on equipment that can be turned off.  This report details a program that tested the theory that a financial motivator is the best way to achieve energy efficiency in labs. Can researchers save more energy if their lab group is financially motivated? Further study is needed, but some meaningful assumptions can be made.