On the 20th of September, the European Conference on Environmental Management in Laboratories took place.
This Final Conference was hosted by EUROLAB (European Federation of National Associations of Measurement, Testing and Analytical Laboratories), one of the partners of the Erasmus+ Project ECVET-Lab. ECVET-Lab aims to contribute to the implementation and validation of a non-formal training on environmental best practices for environmental testing laboratory technicians. Specifically, by applying methodologies and practices that conserve natural resources, improve resources efficiency and protect those working in laboratories from chemical or biological risks.
During this conference, ECVET-Lab project partners presented some of the main outcomes of the project:they identified best environmental management practices in European labs, a new Qualification Standard of environmental management competence for laboratory technicians and a free Online Training Course for obtaining this innovative qualification.
Several laboratories contributed to the conference with their practices and experiences in the field. IPROMA, from Spain, Nireas International Water Research Centre, from Cyprus, and Çevre Industrial Analysis Laboratory, from Turkey shared their daily environmental management systems. They all agreed that the project will be a useful tool both for the educational system and the private sector.
The panel discussion was composed of high-level representatives from each field, including representatives of laboratories’ organisation such as Álvaro Silva Ribeiro, EUROLAB President; Bern Kroon, President of Fenelab (NL); and Ömer Güzel, Honorary President of TURKLAB. From the private sector, Nuria Font, responsible of volatile organic compounds (IPROMA, ES) and Andreas Schmidt, professor and testing engineer from TGM VA-KU (AT) also participated in the debate.
Álvaro Ribeiro assured that “This project adapts the expectations of the new generations along with the new upcoming approaches. It should not be the end of a project, but the beginning” highlighting the opportunities that ECVET-Lab can give.
The Conference concluded with some final remarks. The awareness of students and laboratories technicians is crucial in order to implement any kind of environmental practice or policy. Moreover it is important to put an emphasis on the human resources available in each laboratory. For that purpose, most of the entities attending the Conference offered themselves to be part of the pilot testing, the final part of the project. Considering the exchange of impressions and the interest generated among stakeholders, it is believed that the ECVET-Lab Project will have a large impact.