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Displaying items by tag: My Green Lab

Marine Institute chemists who specialise in biotoxins have won a significant international sustainability award for their work.

The Biotoxin Chemistry team who work within the Marine Environment and Food Safety Services (MEFSS) section of the Marine Institute were recently awarded the highest level (Green) of My Green Lab (MGL) certification.

MGL is a non-profit organisation and a globally recognised leader in the ‘green lab’ movement. The MGL programme seeks to reduce the environmental impact of laboratories in four key areas — energy, water, waste and chemical use — through a combination of organisational initiatives and behaviour change.

The aim is to empower scientists to make choices that not only benefit their work but also the environment and communities around them.

The Biotoxin Chemistry team are the second laboratory within the Marine Institute to be awarded MGL certification, with the Newport facility also being certified earlier this year.

‘The Biotoxin Chemistry team’s dedication exemplifies the institute’s commitment to environmental responsibility’

As part of the MGL certification process, the Biotoxin Chemistry team enrolled in 2023 International Freezer Challenge and won the Top Small Lab Award (Government Sector).

This year, 1,991 laboratories across 170 different research institutions, representing 27 countries took part in the challenge, resulting in an energy reduction of an estimated 20.7 million kWh over the past year.

The team comprising seven staff made great efforts to incorporate a cold-storage management plan involving clearing out and cleaning fridges and freezers. Their endeavors resulted in multiple units being taken out of use and an estimated energy reduction of 66.75 KWh/day (equivalent to the electricity consumption of six average Irish households).

Joe Silke, director of MEFSS, reaffirmed the Marine Institute’s commitment to sustainability: “The Biotoxin Chemistry team’s dedication exemplifies the institute’s commitment to environmental responsibility by their recent achievement of the highest level of My Green Lab certification.

“This not only showcases our commitment to reducing our laboratory's ecological footprint but also underscores the broader positive impacts that green lab initiatives can have on our working environment, finances, reputation and staff engagement.”

Published in Marine Science

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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