Efficient Cold Sample Storage: Reducing the Environmental Footprint (and Financial Impact) of Freezer Use in Research

April 2, 2020
2 p.m.
Eastern Time


For nearly a decade, efforts have been growing within the laboratory sustainability community to minimize the environmental impact of cold sample storage in research and to communicate these opportunities to scientists.

When cold storage is employed with reduced energy usage and space optimization, research benefits from better sample management, better protection of research samples, and cost savings through efficient use of resources.

This presentation will discuss best practices promoted by the Freezer Challenge, a yearly competition organized by My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL). This competition involves laboratories in the higher education, non-profit, federal, and private sectors. We will also discuss other benefits of efficient cold storage, such as improved resiliency, optimized use of freezer resources, and reduced infrastructure, space, and utility needs that lead to lower overhead costs.

This webinar is part of a series that will be presented by I2SL.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how efficient cold storage practices can positively impact research such as improved sample integrity through better freezer performance, better management of research specimens, and lower overhead costs through reduced utility and infrastructure needs.
  • Learn about best practices promoted through the Freezer Challenge to minimize the environmental footprint of cold sample storage in research labs.

Webinar Recording

You can now view the webinar recording. This webinar is hosted by LabRoots and sponsored by Brooks Life Sciences.

Instructor Biography

Kathryn Ramirez-Aguilar, Ph.D. has a doctorate in Analytical Chemistry and 15 years of laboratory research experience. She manages the Green Labs Program at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) which utilizes a campus-wide, team approach to conservation in labs and involves partnership with scientists and many other campus units with connections to laboratory research. The program is celebrating its 10th year and is jointly funded by Facilities Management and the Environmental Center. Kathy is also a member of the board of directors for the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I²SL) and is dedicated to the Bringing Efficiency to Research (BETR) Grants effort aimed at connecting efficient resource use with research funding from sponsors. BETR Grants is an effort of the I²SL University Alliance Group that Kathy chairs.

Christina Greever has been involved in the laboratory sustainability field for four years. She currently works for the nonprofit My Green Lab, which aims to change the culture of sustainability through science. Through supporting My Green Lab's social media presence, Christina promotes the Freezer Challenge to a worldwide audience of scientists. In her former role as Program Assistant for the CU Green Labs at the University of Colorado Boulder, she supported and promoted the Freezer Challenge there for multiple years, aiding participating labs. In addition, she was involved in the Share ULT Freezer Program at CU Boulder, an effort which sought to further reduce the environmental and financial impact of cold storage on campus. Christina holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR.

Continuning Education Credits

LabRoots is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. Program. By attending this webinar, you can earn 1 Continuing Education credit once you have viewed the webinar in its entirety.


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