30 Years of Sustainability Innovations

WOOD DALE, IL February 7, 2024 – PHC Corporation of North America (PHCNA), supplier of PHCbi brand products in the North America and Latin America markets, is celebrating 30 years of innovation in laboratory equipment products that support sustainability goals. Since our early adoption of environmentally friendly refrigerants in an ultra-low temperature freezer in 1993, PHCbi brand products have continued to evolve to support sustainability initiatives without compromising performance.
From ultra-low temperature freezers (ULTs) and cryogenic freezers to pharmaceutical refrigerators, biomedical freezers, and incubators, PHCbi brand products combine innovations from over 55 years of thoughtful design with sustainability features including the use of non-ozone depleting refrigerants, energy efficiency, and decreased reliance on consumables.
"We are proud of our 30-year history of designing and manufacturing innovative product solutions that help facilities in a variety of industries meet sustainability initiatives," said Joe LaPorte, Chief Innovation Officer, PHC Corporation of North America. "Our new VIP® ECO SMART ULT freezer is a great example of this commitment. It’s the most energy efficient ultra-low temperature freezer in its class,"i said LaPorte. "The VIP ECO SMART uses advanced technology to minimize its environmental impact without compromising performance."
Innovations in Refrigeration Sustainability and Energy Efficiency
PHCbi brand ultra-low temperature freezers help labs improve energy efficiency without compromising the temperature uniformity that stored samples require. The energy needed for a single, conventional ULT can power an average U.S. household.ii Legacy ULT freezers are notorious for their energy consumption and also often rely on harmful refrigerants that lead to CO2
PHC has a long, proud history of sustainability improvements in ULT freezers. The company introduced its first ULT with efficient, environmentally friendly refrigerants in 1993 (SANYO), and as a result, earned the EPA Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award for the elimination of the ozone-depleting substance CFC in 1995.iii
In 2017, PHC entered into a voluntary partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR® program as it expanded the certification of products used in the scientific community. Before the development of the ENERGY STAR laboratory grade refrigerators and freezers criteria, products were rarely independently tested for comparative evaluation of energy efficiency. Today, PHC has an extensive portfolio of ENERGY STAR Certified products.
By the end of 2017, the VIP® ECO ULT ranked first in class by ENERGY STAR.iv VIP ECO ULTs leverage innovations from over 55 years of thoughtful design. The VIP ECO minimizes environmental impact without jeopardizing ultra-low temperature freezer performance. The new VIP ECO SMART builds on the VIP ECO Series' history of sustainability innovations. In 2023, the MDF-DU703VH/VHA-PA received the prestigious Outstanding New Product Award from the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) for its industry-leading energy performance among ULTs in its class.v
Reducing Landfill Waste and Consumables
In addition to a commitment to producing environmentally friendly and energy efficient products, PHC also strives to help facilities decrease reliance on consumables. The PHCbi brand cryogenic freezer is mechanically refrigerated and uses air phase technology to deliver stable temperature performance. Traditional cryogenic storage requires the use of liquid nitrogen (LN₂) which can negatively impact your lab's operating expenses and carbon footprint. Air phase cryopreservation eliminates the reliance on liquid nitrogen as a primary cooling medium and promotes better top-to-bottom uniformity than LN₂ storage.
For cell production equipment, HEPA filters used for decontamination can increase a facility's reliance on consumables while also contributing to landfill waste. As HEPA filtration only traps particulates of 0.3 microns or larger, smaller viruses and contaminants can also easily pass through these barriers and impact repeatability. To improve the sustainability of cell culture incubators, PHCbi brand incubators use SafeCell™ UV light to kill contaminants. Long-lasting UV bulbs kill contaminants, not just trap them, and can last up to 5,000 hours, greatly reducing consumable costs.
Want to learn more about how PHCbi brand products can help you build a more sustainable lab? Let’s have lunch.
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About PHC Corporation of North America
PHC Corporation of North America, located in Wood Dale, IL, is a leader in laboratory equipment for the biopharmaceutical, life sciences, academic, healthcare, and government markets. Product lines under the PHCbi brand include the space saving and energy efficient VIP® ECO and TwinGuard® ultra-low temperature freezers, cryogenic and biomedical freezers, pharmacy and high-performance refrigerators, cell culture CO2 and multigas incubators, and Drosophila/plant growth chambers. PHC Corporation of North America is a subsidiary of PHC Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, which is a global healthcare company that develops, manufactures, sells, and services solutions across diabetes management, healthcare solutions, diagnostics, and life sciences.
About PHC Holdings Corporation
PHC Holdings Corporation (TSE 6523), or PHC Group, is a global healthcare company with a mission of contributing to the health of society through healthcare solutions that have a positive impact and improve the lives of people. Its subsidiaries include PHC Corporation, Ascensia Diabetes Care Holdings AG, Epredia Holdings Ltd., Wemex Corporation, and LSI Medience Corporation. Together, these companies develop, manufacture, sell, and service solutions across diabetes management, healthcare solutions, diagnostics, and life sciences. PHC Group's consolidated net sales in FY2022 were JPY 356.4 billion with global distribution of products and services in more than 125 countries.
iiU.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Purchasing Energy-Efficient Laboratory-Grade Refrigerators and Freezers,” Federal Energy Management Program.
iiiUnited States Environmental Protection Agency, “Champions of the World: Stratospheric Ozone Protection Awards,” National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP), EPA430R97023 (August 1997), 9,, Accessed October 13, 2023.
iv]“ENERGY STAR Certified VIP ECO Earns Industry's Best in Class Rating for Lowest Total Daily Energy Usage of any Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer,”