Sustainability Scoop — January 2020

Make the Resolution to Defrost Your Energy-Wasting
Cold Storage Habits

Freezer Challenge logoDoes the thought of wasting energy from freezers give you the chills? If you’re looking for a new way to save energy in laboratories this new year, consider a resolution to re-energize your cold storage approach and taking the Freezer Challenge. The International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) and My Green Lab are launching the 2020 challenge with a new look—and a lot of new ideas for making lab freezers run more efficiently. In 2019 alone, Freezer Challenge participants saved about 2.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity!

Research labs can account for 40 to 60 percent of energy use on a campus, which increases your carbon footprint and impacts climate change. That’s why the 2020 International Freezer Challenge is back to promote efficient, effective sample storage for labs of all sizes. 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 run inefficiently. In many labs, 10 to 30 percent of samples stored in freezers are no longer needed or viable, but a simple freezer cleanout can help you save space and energy. Laboratories around the world are pulling the plug on cold storage energy waste and refreshing their cold storage management practices to save big on electricity, water, and other operational costs.

Sign up for the challenge today!

Challenge winners are determined based on the amount of energy saved and can earn points by taking simple actions such as adjusting storage temperatures, better maintaining existing freezers, or replacing old freezers with more efficient models. The Freezer Challenge provides a monthly blog and information to help your facility maximize cold storage savings. Labs also earn points for sharing tips about their own cold storage best practices!

Sign up for the 2020 Freezer Challenge today! Applications will be accepted through May 1, but the competition is heating up. The winners of this year’s challenge will be honored October 6 at the I2SL Annual Conference and Technology Fair in Chicago, where many efficient freezers will be on display. For more information about the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.