I2SL Sustainability Scoop

February 2019

International Institute for Sustainable Laoratories

Take a Bite out of Cold Storage Energy Waste

Has winter’s chill left you out in the cold in terms of laboratory energy savings? Looking to warm up with some wiser ways to save resources this spring? Or just hoping to defrost a little, starting with your overstuffed cold storage unit? Then it’s time to take the 2019 Freezer Challenge!

Once again, the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) and My Green Lab are teaming up to promote efficient, effective sample storage for laboratories big and small. Research lab buildings can account for 40 to 60 percent of energy use on a campus, which increases your carbon footprint and impacts climate change. Freezers can cause energy waste in a variety of ways; ultra-low temperature freezers are often set lower than they need to be, and freezers that haven’t been defrosted for a long time run inefficiently. But laboratories around the world are refreshing their cold storage management practices to save on electricity, water, and other operational costs and redirecting those resources to advance research opportunities.

What Makes the Challenge Cool?

Challenge winners are determined based on the amount of energy saved and points accrued by taking simple actions such as adjusting storage temperatures, better maintaining existing freezers, or retiring and replacing freezers with more efficient models. And participants share their best management practices. Are you thinking about taking the challenge, but getting cold feet? Consider these benefits!

  • Save energy and costs while cutting carbon. Last year’s Freezer Challenge participants saved approximately 1.6 million kilowatt hours, which is equivalent to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 1,200 metric tons.
  • Be the first to know about new cold storage management resources. The Freezer Challenge provides resources such as blogs, publications, webinars, and other informational tools to help your organization improve storage management practices.
  • Get bragging rights! Past winners have been highlighted in Nature magazine and at the I2SL Annual Conference; the winners of this year’s challenge will be honored in October at the I2SL awards luncheon in Denver, Colorado, and other peer recognition.

Don’t Be Left out in the Cold!

Sign up for the 2019 Freezer Challenge today! Applications will be accepted through May 1, but the sooner you sign up, the sooner you’ll start receiving cool tips to spark savings. For more information about the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Special thanks to the 2019 International Freezer Challenge sponsors:

Gold Level Sponsor

Eppendorf logo

Panasonic Healthcare Corporation Biomedical

Silver Level Sponsor

Stirling Ultracold

Bronze Level Sponsor

Thermo Fisher Scientific