Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21®) is a voluntary partnership program dedicated to improving the environmental performance of U.S. laboratories. Since 1999, Labs21 has helped provide solutions for creating and maintaining sustainable laboratory facilities by taking a "whole building" approach to improving the building's energy efficiency and environmental performance. Although EPA's funding for Labs21 was discontinued in 2012, the Labs21 approach remains an essential component of creating and maintaining sustainable laboratory facilities.
On a square-foot basis, laboratories often consume four to six times as much energy as typical office buildings.
The final Labs21 Annual Conference was held in 2012. Moving forward, the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) , which served as the nonprofit co-sponsor of the Labs21 Annual Conference from 2006 through 2012, will continue to offer a conference supporting high-tech building sustainability.
On November 2, 2007, the Labs21 program received the Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in energy and water efficiency, use of new technologies and renewable energy sources, innovative strategies, and alternative financing.