The CHBE Sustainability Club with support from the CHBE department has established a chemical and equipment inventory database for the Department. The database is available through CHBE secured IT services allowing any researchers to have a quick access to department inventories.
The chemical & equipment inventory database would has many environmental, but also social, and economic benefits.
The online database reduces the amount of chemicals that need to be disposed every year and potentially reduce the amount of chemicals released to the environment by improper disposal technique. It would potentially help tracking fugitive emissions of green house gases, now mandatory under the provincial Bill 44. It should help to reduce the amount of chemicals in our department and improve their storage; thereby, enhancing the overall safety.
The online database would promote cross-department collaboration by sharing techniques and best practices. It saves both time and money for the researchers by avoiding the purchase of chemicals and maximize the usage of under-used equipment. Principle investigators could choose not to list certain chemicals and/or equipments publicly in order to protect the confidentiality of their research.
How does it work
The chemical & Equipment inventory database is available through the CHBE secured IT services. It includes chemical identification with link to MSDS, Ownership and Location.
While buying new chemicals/equipment through the existing online ordering system, researchers will be asked to fill up required information. The researcher will also specify if this information needs to be confidential. The chemical would not then be listed publicly; however, the safety officer and the store manager would have access to this information.
The store manager will create and stick individual labels for the chemical containers. Every researcher would be given empty tag sheets, ideally placed in the safety drawers of their lab. Once a chemical bottle is emptied, an empty tag will be removed from the bottle and stick the empty tag sheet. Empty tag sheet will be sent to the store once filled up or every 6 months to update the database.
Potential for Campus Wide Implementation
ManyUBCdepartments do not have chemical and equipment database and we already had questions how to implement such program. We will publish our methodology through the CHBE Sustainability Club website and would offer guidance to any department who wish to initiate similar databases. We will work towards developing a program at very low cost in money and time-employee, to make it accessible to any other departments.