Teun Bousema, theme Infectious diseases and global health, organized in 2020 a Freezer Challenge together with PhD students Julie Verhoef and Estel Collado Camps. Ultra-low temperature freezers are among the most energy intensive pieces of lab equipment. There are many, often they are full of old samples that are never used and set to a temperature that is lower than needed. We challenged departments and research groups to clean out their freezers, replace old models and change the temperature settings. The challenge was a great success, as can be seen in the clip, and we still invite new research groups to join this effort.
During our Radboudumc Freezer Challenge, 13 groups joined hands to clean out freezers, replace old freezer models and change temperature settings. Together, they now save the CO2 equivalent of 25 return trips to New York annually. Without affecting quality.
A message from René Bindels and Fred Sweep
"Reductions in energy consumption are crucial to reach our ambitious targets for a sustainable Radboudumc. Energy savings can be achieved by improvements in infrastructure and by dedicated employees. In the coming years, laboraties will be more strategically organized and modernized. The Radboudumc Laboratorium Omgeving (RLO) will be implemented that provides central facilities for cold storage and thereby greatly reduce our energy consumption. The Radboudumc Freezer Challenge, initiated by Teun Bousema, is in perfect alignment with these initiatives. During that challenge, 13 participating groups demonstrated that impressive reductions can be achieved by critically reviewing what samples are stored and discard unused materials. In addition, it pays off to change the temperature setting of freezers, where possible, to -70 °C instead of -80°C. In this video clip, you learn more about the challenge and the winners of the 2020 competition. On intranet, you can find information on how to join this initiative".
Are you also interested in optimising your ULT freezer use? That's great. The Freezer Challenge was concluded, but you can get support on implementing the changes any time.
Remember: discarding obsolete stocks, defrosting periodically, retiring old freezers and changing the temperature are all beneficial. There are green options for every lab, sample and situation.
For technical support you can find more details in this document (link naar word). If you're left with any questions, don't hesitate to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.