2024 Emory Lab Freezer Challenge Contestants

Congratulations to the participants of Emory University’s 2024 Lab Freezer Challenge:

  • Priya D’Souza — Barr & Ryan Lab
  • Muna Ahmad — Sudmeier Lab
  • Nadia Aziz — Quave Lab
  • Zeel H. Mehta — Dente/ Buchman Labs

The Office of Sustainability Initiatives appreciates all our green labs that competed in this international challenge. Labs are notorious energy hogs, consuming 5 to 10 times more energy per square foot than office buildings. Research labs at Emory account for 43% of our energy usage, despite taking up 14% of the campus square footage.

The Lab Freezer Challenge, a fun, free program created by My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL), runs from January to July. During this time, individual labs implement optimal cold storage management practices at their own pace. At the end of the competition, labs submit their score sheets. Labs and organizations are then scored against their peers, with awards given to the top performers. Thousands of scientists worldwide compete annually to enhance their lab’s energy efficiency, improve sample accessibility, reduce risks, and save institutional costs. Cold storage, including refrigerators, freezers, and cold rooms, is one of the largest energy consumers in labs, second only to fume hoods.

Since 2017, Freezer Challenge participants have saved a cumulative 44.7 million kWh of energy, equivalent to offsetting the carbon emissions of driving over 81 million miles in a passenger vehicle, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

This year, we more than doubled our participants from last year, with strong participation from our School of Medicine labs. We hope even more labs join the Lab Freezer Challenge next year. To learn more about the Lab Freezer Challenge and how your lab can participate in making Emory a more sustainable university, apply to be an Emory Green Lab. To learn about the experience of a former Emory Lab Freezer Challenge participant, check out this video on our YouTube.

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