ACB Green Champions!

Rob Shorten
Rob Shorten • 3 April 2023

The Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine (ACB) is one of the worlds’ leading professional membership organisations dedicated to the practice and promotion of clinical science. As the major body for clinical biochemistry, immunology, and microbiology in the United Kingdom, we work nationally and internationally to promote the highest standards in laboratory testing and patient care.

The ACB Green Champions are a small team of enthusiastic individuals who banded together in late 2022. We felt that there was growing imperative and enthusiasm for diagnostic laboratories to step up and play our part in moving towards a Net Zero NHS. Laboratories process vast numbers of samples, consume huge amounts of energy, and produce staggering amounts of plastic waste. There is no time like the present; we need to act now. Diagnostic testing encompasses three main stages: pre-analytical (the decision to perform a test, taking the sample, and transporting it to the place of analysis), analytical (the test itself), and post-analytical (interpretation and resulting clinical action). All these processes contribute to the huge carbon footprint of laboratory services.

The Green Champions are looking to offer support to ACB members and their laboratories. This could take the form of education, sign-posting to existing frameworks and toolkits, and sharing case studies of good practice. We want environmental sustainability to be embedded into diagnostic laboratories, as well as all aspects of our business. This is a huge challenge for clinical laboratories and change will not happen overnight. We hope to grow this team over time, learning from each other and the wider community as we go.

We are reaching out to our membership to ask them what they are already doing in their laboratory settings. Understanding the issues is the first step to improvement. If you have an example of good practice or a suggestion for meaningful change, then we’d love to hear from you!

What are you already doing to make your labs more sustainable?

Please post comments below. You can also find the ACB on Twitter @TheACBNews

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