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  1. Freezer Challenge for the win!

    Associated Project(s): 

    The University has been recognized for winning the Freezer challenge for a second year in a row, in the magazine Nature. Click the link to go to the site!  https://www.nature.com/articles/d42473-019-00288-0

    A cool competition for sustainable labs

    Laboratory refrigeration requires a surprising amount of energy. Since 2017, the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge has pushed labs to reduce their draw.

    Produced by

    Nature Research Custom Media

     

    My Green Lab

     

    International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories

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    Inefficient freezers waste energy and money.Credit: Cavan Images/ Alamy

    For scientists, a good freezer is like a good colleague: integral to doing your best work. But cooling comes at a great cost. Ultra-low temperature freezers, which usually store samples at –80°C, can use as much energy as an average household, and more as they get older. Multiplied by hundreds of thousands of units in labs around the world, that humble lab freezer has quite an energy footprint.

    In 2017, My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) created the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge* to inspire labs around the world to reduce energy used for cold storage, from refrigerators to the coldest freezers. Individual labs or organizations complete a scorecard detailing the implementation of best practices and energy-saving processes: good management practices, including defrosting freezers; temperature tuning, such as setting a freezer at –70°C or higher; retiring unused refrigerators/freezers or replacing them with more efficient ones; and some unexpected improvements, such as storing certain samples at room temperature.

    Labs receive points for every action that they take. In four categories, academia, the biopharma industry, hospitals and government/non-profit, individual labs and organizations that accumulate the most points win. There can be eight winners, all of whom receive an award and recognition in Nature. This year, awards were given to labs and organizations in three of the four categories.

    “The number of participating labs in 2019 nearly doubled from 2018,” says Allison Paradise, CEO and founder at My Green Lab, bringing the number of entrants worldwide to about 400 this year.

    Organizational winners

     

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign winning team Credit: University of Illinois

    In a repeat of 2018, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, took the top spot among academic organizations by saving about 160,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. To win as a university, Madeline Barone, an undergraduate studying environmental science who organized the effort, made it her mission to get as many labs as possible involved. “Following up with people was super important,” she says.

    Teamwork also made a big impact in the biopharma-organization category. Charles River — a global, preclincal contract research organization and headquartered in Wilmington, MA — registered all its sites around the world for the competition and encouraged them to compete against each other.

    “This led to one of the most meaningful reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions we’ve ever seen,” Paradise says.

    Winning team from Charles River

    Charles River, Mattawan (MI), took the top spot. “We entered to see where we stood in relation to industry standards,” says neurobehavioral scientist, Rachel Tapp. The team ended up learning a lot. “Our sustainability crew is new within our Charles River site,” Tapp explains. “So, we learned much about who manages these systems and how they were managed.” Charles River, Mattawan saved about 423,000 kWh a year.

    Rounding out the organizational winners, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earned a threepeat in the government/non-profit category. Even after wins in 2017 and 2018, the CDC added an estimated saving of 300,000 kWh a year.

    Individual winners

    Among individual laboratory winners, the Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Tissue Bank at Imperial College London took the top academic spot. To do that, says tissue bank manager George Gveric, “We increased the temperatures on all our freezers and rearranged samples so that freezers are opened less frequently.”

    Winning team at Imperial college London

    The top honor in the biopharma industry category for an individual lab went to Amyris Biology/Automated Strain Engineering Lab. The start-up is based in Emeryville, CA. Senior associate scientist, Gloria Sagala calls the Freezer Challenge “a great opportunity for our team to come together around a common goal to improve our energy efficiency with our cold storage.” Sagala and her colleagues removed inefficient and unnecessary freezers and implemented a system to track defrosting, saving the lab 30–40% in freezer energy.

    Amyris Biology/Automated Strain Engineering Lab winning team Credit: Amyris Biology/Automated Strain Engineering Lab

    An individual lab winner in 2018, the Inorganic and Radiation Analytical Toxicology Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) teamed up with the Clinical Chemistry Branch to take the individual government/non-profit lab category. “We keep entering because we keep trying to increase awareness of energy use for cold storage in our division,” says Deanna Jones, a team leader in the CDC’s Division of Laboratory Sciences. When asked about the biggest change this year, Jones says, “We have begun buying ENERGY STAR-rated freezers to replace old, less energy efficient ones.”

    CDC winning teamCredit: CDC

    Overall, the combined efforts of participants in 2019 saved about 2.4 million kWh a year. That’s enough energy to power more than 230 average American homes for a year.** Freezer Challenge organizers hope to see that number double again in 2020.

    Organizational honorable mention:

    • Charles River Laboratories, Leiden

    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    • US. National Institutes of Health

    Individual-laboratory honorable mention:

    • Janssen Immunology Biology Lab at La Jolla, CA, led by Steven Nguyen

    • Laboratory Research & Reference Branch, Division of STD Prevention, CDC

    • Ming Lab, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, managed by Julie Nguyen

     

    *The Freezer Challenge is made possible through the generous support of sponsors, including 2019’s Gold Sponsors Eppendorf and PHCbi.

  2. Freezer Challenge participants to be recognized at Celebration

    Hello 2019 Freezer Challenge Participants, It’s time to celebrate, eat cake, mingle with your peers and be recognized for your efforts supporting the University of Illinois’ second-year running 1st place finish in the International Freezer challenge. Thanks to you for leading sample management and cold-storage best practices, and supporting the University of Illinois' world-class standing.

    RSVP today!

     

    Sustainability week is October 21-25th. This year the campus Sustainability Celebration will take place on October 23rd, from 4-6pm in the Levis Faculty Center, Room 300. We will award your Certificate of Leadership in Environmental Stewardship in Sustainable Lab Practices at this celebration and acknowledge your hard work and energy savings this past year at the University of Illinois. 


    This celebration also shares exciting environmental initiatives around campus (including the Energy Conservation Incentive Program) and attendees will have the chance to provide input for the 2020 Illinois Climate Plan.

     

    Additionally, you will be acknowledged and invited on stage to be congratulated for your hard work, as well as join in the group photo with the 1st place award from the I2SL conference in Denver, Colorado. (We are hoping it will return in time, if not we will use last years for the photo) 

     

    Please RSVP to this email if you are able to clear your schedule for this celebration and check in with me at the door when you arrive. 

    Thank you all again for your incredible performance in this year’s International Freezer Challenge. We could not have won without your hard work and dedication to sustainable labs on campus. 

     

    Best,


    Madeline Barone

    Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship Intern | UIUC F&S

    President | Eco-Olympics

     

    --

     

    Madeline Barone

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Class of 2020

    Environmental Sustainability and Psychology Majors

    Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship Intern | UIUC F&S

    President | Epsilon Eta Environmental Honors Fraternity

    President | Eco-Olympics

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/madelinebarone/

  3. Freezer Challenge was in the Chancellor's message

     
    Click here to see this online
     
     
     

    A monthly e-newsletter where Chancellor Robert Jones shares campus news, stories, successes and information


    Welcome Back


     
     

    I hope you'll take a moment to watch this short video welcoming students to campus. I am grateful to each one of you for making this a special place to live, learn and work. No matter how long you’ve been part of the Illinois community, there is always something new to discover. I look forward to seeing what we will accomplish together. 

    Sincerely,
    Robert J. Jones
    Chancellor

     


    Celebrate Homecoming


    It's time to come home, Illini.

    Illinois Homecoming will take place Oct. 13-19. From pancakes at the Homecoming 5K to family fun in Grange Grove, don’t miss out on all our community has to offer. 

    For the full list of events, view the homecoming website and the Facebook event.

     


    Congratulate Students


     
     

    Illinois students are outstanding. For the spring 2019 semester, the university announced:

    - 7,240 Dean’s List students
    - 243 Bronze Tablet honorees
    - 9,068 May graduates

    For the complete list of names, view this list.

     


    Rediscover TailGREAT


    The 1980s tailgating competition is returning to Illinois after a 30-year hiatus. 

    TailGREAT will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21 when the Illini take on Nebraska at Memorial Stadium. The competition will award the Best BBQ and Most Creative Tailgate.

     


    Celebrate Our Community


     
     

    Illinois was ranked #20 on the list of Best Colleges for your Money by Money magazine.

    Champaign-Urbana was named one of the Top 40 places young people are moving to by USA Today.

    Illinois received first place in the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge’s Academic category for the second year in a row.

     


    Learn About University News


    Application opens - The Illinois application for freshmen and transfer students opens Sept. 1.

    Scholar endowment - A University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign endowment to honor scholar Yingying Zhang has been established by the Zhang family. Yingying's Fund will assist international students in crisis and their families.

    Student Success - A new Student Success Initiative aims to better understand the factors that lead to retention, graduation rates, placement, degree-completion time and more.

     


    Discover Illinois Research


     
     

    Better sleep - Optimistic people tend to sleep better and longer, according to a new Illinois study.

    Cheaper flight costs - Illinois researchers are using artificial intelligence to design a customized pricing model that benefits airline customers.

    Healthier diets in children - An Illinois study provides more evidence that kids who cook have healthier dietary habits.

    Safer K-9s - A new Illinois effort will ensure law enforcement K-9s get the specialized care they need when injured on the job.


    Unsubscribe from Illinois Noteworthy

     
     
     
     
     
     
  4. ILLINOIS WINS FREEZER CHALLENGE FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR

    For the second straight year, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the best at implementing cold-storage best management practices, including reducing the energy required for laboratory cold storage. Campus efforts in more than 70 laboratories across 15 buildings earned back-to-back first place awards in the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge’s Academic category.

    The total energy usage in these spaces decreased by an estimated 438 kWh/day or a combined annual total equivalent of 13.5 homes energy for 1 year. The reductions were achieved due to the dedication and creativity of researchers across campus in implementing best practices for cold storage management. They received points for taking actions such as properly maintaining freezers and refrigerators, discarding old samples, and retiring unneeded units.

    See attached file or visit: https://www.fs.illinois.edu/resources/announcements/2019/08/08/the-university-of-illinois-wins-the-international-freezer-challenge-for-the-second-straight-year for full press release.

    More information on the challenge is available at https://www.freezerchallenge.org/ and https://go.fs.illinois.edu/freezerchallenge. The program is jointly run by My Green Lab and I2SL.

  5. Freezer Challenge 2019 - update

    Associated Project(s): 

    F&S coordination of the 2019 Freezer Challenge is making progress, gaining momentum and is half way to meeting last year’s participation of 45 labs. Designed to engage, educate and motivate efficient lab sample management thereby increasing energy efficiency and reducing consumption, this competition ends May 1st at midnight.  

  6. Freezer Challenge 2019 Register and Participate

    Associated Project(s): 
    Click here to see this online
     
     
     
     
    University of Illinois 2019 International Freezer Challenge Participation


    Register NOW! (click here), history, recognitions, accomplishments & 2019 Goals
     


    U of I Won 1st place internationally
    Top four laboratory teams scoring the highest point totals during the 2018 Freezer Challenge  
    Top four laboratory teams scoring the highest point totals during the 2018 Freezer Challenge  
     

    Being the best at reducing the energy required for laboratory cold-storage and implementing sample management best-practices earned the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign first place in the 2018 International Freezer Challenge, leading our peers and joining first place organizations in multiple categories.... read more


      2018 award currently on display at IGB in the CABBI lab area
      The 2018 International Freezer Challenge award on display, in the CABBI lab area at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
     

    Worldwide recognition

    The University of Illinois research community has received international recognition from a number of organizations and media publications.


    top achievement totals from 2018  
    In 2018, 45 Labs made this BIG of an impact, join us to help change the world!  
     

    Highlights from lab efforts in 2018

    Researchers rallied to apply best practices in sample-storage management, reducing their lab's carbon footprint and submitting their efforts for recognition in the International Freezer Challenge. Particpating researchers were awarded a certificate for demonstrating leadership in Environmental Stewardship and Sustainable Laboratory Practices. Register to receive your lab's 2019 scoresheet! (sample scoresheet attached)


      mygreenlabs freezer challenge video
      Take the Challenge Today!
     

    Goals for 2019 competition: DOUBLE-UP!

    This year's goal is to DOUBLE last year’s:

    - Participation of researchers from 45 labs  to 90 labs

    - Energy reduction of an estimated 720 kWh/day to 1500 kWh/day

    CHILL-UP TO DOUBLE-UP, DOUBLE THE LABS & DOUBLE THE WIN!!!

     


    Illinois can win again! Only one organization (the CDC) has won twice in their division. Illinois can join them in 2019!


      FreezerChallengeUI website
      Visit website for more details! (click image)
     

    Join us and submit your scoresheet by midnight, May 1 to achieve world class results!

    For help getting started contact:
    Paul Foote at gfoote2@illinois.edu
    217-244-1048

    Think Globally-Act Locally

     
     
     
  7. 2018 International Freezer Challenge - 1st place internationally

    Associated Project(s): 

    We Won 1st place internationally in the Institutional category for last year’s efforts!

    My Green Labs and I2SL hosted the 2018 International Freezer Challenge see category winners here

    Place Photo here

    Worldwide recognition published through these media outlets:

    Lab Manager Magazine, Cold Storage March 2019

    Published article with participants quoted for expert advice here  

    Nature Magazine feature published in Oct. 2018 (see attached PDF)

    S-Labs highlights our achievements in their short-listed profiles here (PDF of short list attached)

    ISEE and Facilities & Services published news releases U of I Wins Freezer Challenge & 2018 International Freezer Challenge Champions

    Highlights from lab efforts in 2018

    Achievements from researchers in the 2018 competition!

    # of labs submitted score sheets

    45

    # of freezers/ refrigerators impacted

    323

    # of units defrosted and/or cleaned coils

    198

    # of units retired due to no longer needed

    16

    # of units replaced with a more efficient model

    9

    # of units that were cleaned out and/or removed samples

    162

    # of units where you updated or created new  inventories

    143

    # of samples moved from colder to warmer storage 

    14065

    # of units created a searchable digital inventory

    100

    # of units containing a Barcoded inventory

    27

    # of units shared among research groups

    103

    # of researchers that registered labs

    60

    # of individual labs registered

    58


    Goal for this year is to DOUBLE last year’s participation of 45 labs in 17 buildings and energy reduction, which totaled an estimated 720 kWh/day from October 2017 through June 2018. The annual total of 262,800 kWh of electricity saved during the competition is the approximate equivalent of the yearly energy used by 25 typical U.S. homes.

    We can repeat the WIN; so far, the CDC is the only group to win twice in their division.

    Join us

     

    Thank you

    Paul Foote

    Think Globally- Act Locally

  8. ECBS SWATeam Meeting Minutes

    On Wednesday, May 2nd, the ECBS SWATeam had their final meeting of the 2017-18 school year. Eco-Olympics received two different grants for funding and had many strong participants. They have also registered for Quad Day and are planning methods for improvement. The Freezer Challenge is making steady progress in terms of awards and sign-ups. Paul is working with Joyce on contacting a solar company for the ECEB metering project. Finally, the team worked on revising their recommendations for energy conservation funding.

    Attached Files: 

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