Recent Freezer Challenges
As of spring 2017, the Freezer Challenge ran for the first time on a truly national scale. The International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) and My Green Lab partnered together to coordinate the first North American Laboratory Freezer Challenge (NALFC). Lab equipment manufacturers sponsored the effort. There was enormous interest in the NALFC in 2017 with over 1000 labs across North America participating, so in 2018 the Freezer Challenge went worldwide to be the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge. Labs have until June 15, 2018 to take actions with their lab’s cold storage in the following areas: 1) Good Management Practices 2) Temperature Tuning 3) Retirements & Upgrades 4) Cutting Edge Practices. Labs and institutions are competing for top awards. See www.freezerchallenge.org for more information. The Freezer Challenge is an exciting opportunity for labs to really consider their cold storage practices and take actions to make their use of cold storage more efficient and effective.
History of the Freezer Challenge
The original idea of a Freezer Challenge came from Allen Doyle with the University of California Davis. The first Freezer Challenge was primarily created by Allen and Kathy Ramirez-Aguilar, Program Manager for CU Green Labs, in collaboration with a few colleagues at other institutions. They envisioned a Freezer Challenge so that different universities could compete to take actions that would make their laboratory freezers more efficient or reduce their energy consumption. The Freezer Challenge was run at CU Boulder three times prior to 2017, and was helpful for getting many labs on board with thinking about performance and efficiency with freezers. Other institutions developed their own versions of the Freezer Challenge such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and tried them out on their campuses.