International Freezer Challenge

Clear laboratory equipment with a black microscope at center. The three glass beakers flanking the microscope have green plants in them.
May 1, 2023 – July 1, 2023 all-day
Office of Sustainability

Ultra-low temperature freezers consume as much electricity annually as a typical single-family home. Hopkins laboratories can lower their lab’s carbon footprint and challenge your cold storage practices by taking part in the Freezer Challenge. Supported by the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) and My Green Lab, this challenge is designed to promote best practices in cold storage management for laboratories around the world.

Johns Hopkins operates over 1,500 Ultra-low temperature freezers and even more refrigerators, standard freezers, and cold rooms that utilize millions of kWh per year. The annual challenge encourages labs to implement best practices related to cold storage maintenance, from temperature tuning (-70C is the new -80C) to removing ice buildup, that all contribute to making freezer more energy efficient.

This year, top performing labs at each Johns Hopkins school have the opportunity to earn up to $5,000 in awards used for sustainable purchases, repairs, or upgrades. All labs with cold-storage units are eligible to join the challenge.

The challenge runs through July 1, 2023 but actions as far back as August 1, 2022 are eligible be included. Many of these practices you may already be doing! As an added bonus, participation in the Freezer Challenge earns labs 2 Sustainability Actions Points towards Green Lab Certification.

To learn more about our other Green Labs initiatives at Johns Hopkins, please visit the Office of Sustainability website or email You can learn more from Freezer Challenge Asks Labs to Put Costly Energy Consumption on Ice.