Green Education - Writing Sustainability Reports

Personal Note From The Editor

Hello Reader, nice to see you!

Imagine having all the knowledge about sustainability in one place

A resource you can access 24/7.

Instead of searching through various volumes of books, you would find the information conveniently organized for easy access.

I am excited to invite you to our online platform for this year’s sustainability summit!

It’s entirely free, and over time, we will continue to add everything we know about sustainability. Take a look right here!

Today's Lesson: Writing Reports On Sustainability

Tips and Tricks on how to go about it efficiently

Number Of The Day

Based on an international search for sustainability programs conducted by RAND, there are approximately 19 initiatives that assist researchers in becoming more sustainable. They also identified about 25 tools designed to make laboratories greener.


Sustainability Reporting For Grants

How can you go most efficiently about the reports funding bodies require?

At first, approach these reports similar to writing grants. If you figured out what counts in grants, you will have a great foundation for writing these reports.

1. Understand the Scope

Don’t overcomplicate it.

Just like grant writing, remember that not everyone will have the interest or time to read this section thoroughly. Focus on writing something convincing rather than worrying about every detail.

2. Get Some Inspiration

The first aid kit - 2 general overviews, a longer study on sustainability and a piece on how to understand what sustainability is about.

Of course, these can also help to see some styles how to write about sustainability.

3. Structure Understandably

Organize your actions under general categories, such as:

Travel / Procurement / Lab Practices -> Equipment -> Reagent Use ...

This approach avoids confusion and creates a positive impression. If the reader is confused, they will feel frustrated and search for missing categories. Just as you look for positive aspects about people you like, readers will appreciate clarity and organization.

4. A Checklist For You

Here is a longer list of actions you can use for inspiration or to ensure you haven't forgotten anything:

5. Writing Tips

Your readers are likely new to sustainability, so keeping it general is sufficient for now.

Keep it simple, start with the general topic, and then provide specific examples - aka using a deductive method.

Use contrasts to show the difference between past practices and current improvements. This technique helps clarify your points, especially when discussing specific methods.

And, do not forget to use numbers whenever possible.

An example: In terms of equipment, we focus on A) Freezers, B) HPLCs, C) Fume Hoods.

A) Freezers: Our laboratory has 5 ultralow freezers. Previously, there were no sustainability guidelines, so we created a strategy to run them as sustainably as possible. We set the temperatures to -70°C, established an annual defrosting schedule, cleaned coils, removed dust from compressors, and implemented software for sample organization. This reduced our energy consumption by about 40% year on year.

B) HPLCs: ...

Applying The Knowledge

For now, be general and easy to understand, highlighting single actions that are impressive. As sustainability becomes more crucial, your certification will cover the details.

To save time later on, consider creating online accessible Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). This not only creates lasting and generalized impact in your laboratory but also provides a reference for your reports.

In the end, this is a great exercise to get you trained in sustainability and writing about it. Understand how important sustainability is for you (internally), how to describe what you are doing (externally), and what you can improve or plan to do (both internally and externally).

Upcoming Lesson:

A Look Into The Future – How Sustainability Will Develop

Asking You

How long does it take for a freezer to reach -60°C after it fails (and is set to -70 initially)?




How We Feel Today

If you have a wish or a question, feel free to reply to this Email.
Otherwise, wish you a beatiful week!
See you again the 20th: )

Find the previous lesson click - here -

Edited by Patrick Penndorf
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