top of page
original group photo_DSC6231-2_edit.JPG
5yVNJiF2.jpg
cmNpAxsR_400x400.jpg

SIGN UP for the 2024 competition starting January

SERVICES
ABOUT

ABOUT

The International Freezer Challenge is a worldwide research competition from January through July 1st every year, that is focused on safely streamlining sample management, increasing equipment life, and lowering overall energy consumption. The objective of the challenge is to optimize sample management in laboratories, where individual labs work to implement cold-storage practices that promote laboratory sustainability and energy conservation. At the end of the competition, the most successful labs are rewarded for their efforts in multiple categories, including academia, pharmaceutical and biotech, government, and clinical, hospital, private research, or other.

​ The Freezer Challenge at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign focuses on engaging, educating, and motivating researchers, faculty, staff, and students to promote safe and sustainable sample-storage best practices and leadership in environmental stewardship. The Freezer Challenge is supported and recognized by the OVCRI's office with Leadership in Environmental Stewardship Certificates for all participants and awards for the top scoring labs are presented by the EcoOlympics student group.

We started by participating in the International Freezer Challenge during the 2016-2017 academic year. We have been quite successful in the competition from the beginning, ranking first in the Academic Organization category for four consecutive years (2018-2021). In 2022, we received an Honorable Mention, and in 2023, we proudly earned the Winning Streak Award, solidifying our commitment to excellence in sustainability.

Our successes can be contributed to collaboration with the EcoOlympics Student Organization, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Division of Research Safety & Innovation; the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE); the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC); and Facilities & Services.

Learn more about the success of The Freezer Challenge at UIUC

WHY PARTICIPATE

UltLow Frzr.jpg

Reducing energy consumption reduces costs and environmental impact of the lab. 

20180717_155537.jpg

Any type of laboratory is eligible to participate by working at its own pace to implement optimal cold storage management practices that save energy.

IMG_2315 (1).jpg

Be awarded and nationally recognized at the I2SL conference as the winning lab in your category.

Magazine Logos_edited.png

Explore the university's past success through their features on popular magazines.

RTSS.jpg

Development of these ongoing cold storage management practices support efficiency and maximize space utility.

Lab freezer storage MSB  .jpg

Learning and applying proper cold storage maintenance techniques to help avoid future failures.

fc strategies panel.png

Learn tips and strategies from fellow scientists in this video panel discussion.

2017

1315KWh

1,680,000
KWh

232

Year Joined
Saved Daily in 2023

71

Researchers

94

Labs Participating
Total Saved to Date (2017-23)

17

Buildings on Campus
Homes   Electricity Use for 1 year

15

Different Colleges

MEET THE RESEARCHERS

Meet Lucienne Burrus from the CABBI lab and hear her experience with the Freezer Challenge.

20180716_144336.jpg
susan martinis.png

Researchers comment on what made them successful and how they navigated the competition.

20180706_112728.jpg
PROJECTS

LEARN MORE

original group photo_DSC6231-2_edit.JPG

Learn about our accomplishments in the 2023 International Freezer Challenge competition

UIUC Freezer Challenge1_cropped DSC0915 (3)-min.png

Learn about our accomplishments in the 2022 International Freezer Challenge competition

2021 group pic.jpeg

Learn about our accomplishments in the 2021 International Freezer Challenge competition.

update winner photo no logo.jpg

Learn about our accomplishments in the 2020 International Freezer Challenge competition.

_DSC6141.JPG

Learn about our accomplishments in the 2019 International Freezer Challenge competition.

Freezer Challenge Group Photo 1 .jpg

Learn about our accomplishments in the 2018 International Freezer Challenge competition.

CLIENTS
CONTACT

FREEZER CHALLENGE SPONSORS

2023

logo.png
Silvercreek402UrbanaIL.png
Watsons-Logo-WORDMARK-COLOR.png
biaggi-s-squarelogo.png
Panera-Bread-logo.jpg

CONTACT

Inquiries

Project Leader: Paul Foote

Email: gfoote2@illinois.edu

SIGN UP

bottom of page