A focus group aiming at a close examination of sustainable best practices applied in environmental testing laboratories was held on the 19th of May at the University of Cyprus premises, by Nireas-Internatiaonal Water Research Center (Nireas-IWRC).
The focus group was held in the framework of the European Erasmus+ project, ECVET-Lab. There were 26 participants from various organisations all over Cyprus, ranging from governmental departments such as the Water Development Department, to private laboratories providing services to customers dealing with environmental testing.
Initially, presentations regarding the aims of the project, a literature review on environmental best practices found in environmental testing laboratories as well as an overview of the questionnaire survey previously conducted, were given. Next, the focus group discussion took place in a round-table format, to allow all participants to feel free to express their opinions on the best laboratory practices being discussed.
The main findings of the focus group discussion were focused on the importance of various laboratory work aspects such as: the training of new and existing laboratory staff, the direct availability of the material safety data sheets (mSDS) and health and safety guidelines to all staff, the responsible chemical and waste management, the laboratory design and construction, water and energy consumption, noise and air pollution as well as environmental management.