Framework para implementação de práticas ambientais em laboratórios químicos
Aires, Cynthia Firmino
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Different processes performed at chemical laboratories produce environmental aspects that need the implementation of practices to be controlled. In order to maximise the benefits of implementing environmental practices, it is necessary to understand the context of their implementation, which includes enablers, drivers and barriers. Thus, the objective of this research is to propose a framework for the implementation of environmental practices in chemical laboratories that could potentially be adopted. Two methods were used: a Systematic Literature Review and case studies. Based on the systematic review, a conceptual framework was designed taking into consideration enablers and barriers for environmental practices implementation. In addition, 48 environmental practices implemented by chemical laboratories were found and categorised into the following groups: waste and chemical management, environmental awareness, energy efficiency, water conservation, management and planning, infrastructure design and legal compliance. The data analysis was conducted based on triangulation from different empirical sources including semi-structured interviews, document analysis and direct observation. The most cited practice remains waste management. Moreover, 7 new environmental practices that has not been previously reported in literature: team periodic meetings, documented information on hazardous waste, lighting, preventive equipment maintenance, water reuse, documented information on water removed from equipment and annual calibration of equipment. 27 enablers were evidence and the most prevalent were human resources, such as team collaboration. 5 new drivers were identified in the empirical research: team/coordinators collaboration, funding company, specialized hazardous waste treatment company and available physical structure. In summary, the main driver was also the most significant barrier, evidencing, in fact, that the focus needs to be given to the human side. Based on the empirical research, the conceptual framework was refined and its major contribution is related to the fact that chemical laboratories can use it to explore their capability and promote the strategic aspects to implement environmental practices.