The International IVF Initiative - i3

Session 87/88: Green IVF

International IVF Initiative

Session 87/88: Green IVF

Session 87/88: Green IVF 

Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd February, 2022. 9pm EST, 6pm PST, 1pm AEDT

Dr Jacques Cohen and Dr Emma Saunders with Anna Gorbunova and Giles Palmer

Plastic Use in the IVF Lab
Dani Smale

How Green is Your IVF?
Roisin O’Raghallaigh

Why Does the Sustainable Development Goals Matter for the IVF Business?
Rikard Ledin da Rosa
A talk sponsored Vitrolife
Learn more about the drive for sustainable future by Vitrolife

Creating a Greener Clinic, The Triple Bottom Line
Chip Calcagni


After completing an MSc in Clinical Embryology at Oxford University, I started training as an embryologist at CARE Fertility London. At CARE, I undertook several small research projects, including looking at the environmental impact of IVF, mainly plastic use. These ideas have followed me to different clinics where I suggest various combinations of consumables or procedural changes to limit the volume of plastic used. Additionally, I have been fortunate to present my research as posters at Fertility. In 2021, I left full-time employment to become a locum embryologist, and I love travelling to different clinics and seeing how they work. I am at the start of my career, and I am excited to see that people are working together to make this industry more sustainable.


Roisin is an embryologist with CRGW where she is currently working towards registration with the HCPC. She completed her Masters at Trinity College Dublin before starting her career in the field in 2016 (?) with the Merrion Fertility Clinic in Dublin. She proceeded to gain experience in andrology at a variety of clinics and the European Sperm Bank before starting with CRGW in 2021. She has a particular interest in Male factor infertility, fertility preservation and sustainability within the IVF clinic.
Outside of work Roisin is heavily involved in the Girl Guides where she finds new uses for much of the lab "waste"


Born With a background as management consultant, sustainability advisor, board member and educator I am currently working as a sustainability specialist at Vitrolife. I have worked with a span from smaller to some of the biggest, listed companies in Sweden with global outreach. I have a broad experience in advisory services to public, private and non-governmental organizations on how to develop, implement and communicate sustainability in a transparent, effective and credible way. My colleagues might call me a framework-nerd since I, in one way or another, work with the majority of sustainability frameworks. Previously, I participated in the SIS working group for ISO 14001 (environmental management system) and ISO 26000 (social sustainability). Today, I am a certified IRCA auditor for ISO 14001 and 9001 and I am also one out of ten certified trainers for GRI Standards in Sweden.
This talk is sponsored by Vitrolife


With over thirty-five years as a practicing architect, Charles “Chip” Calcagni has led teams across a wide range of institutional and private projects ranging from Healthcare to Higher Education as well as Residential and Commercial projects. Chip was a Managing Partner with DaSilva Architects and e4h Architecture for over twenty-five years. He has led projects for New York Presbyterian, Rutgers University, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical Center, Johns Hopkins, Yale-New Haven Medical Center, University Hospital Cleveland, Barcelona University Medical Center, Hospital for Special Surgery, Montefiore Medical Center, HealthQuest, RWJ|St Barnabas, Valley Hospital, Hackensack Medical Center and Northwell Health among others.
Chip’s work has been centered on projects for research laboratories and has designed over fifteen IVF related laboratories and Fertility Centers in the United States and Europe. He has led pioneering work designing labs for Cell Research, Applied Genomics, Epigenetics, and early Total Laboratory Automation Chemistry Labs in multiple locations, as well as new TLA projects for New York Presbyterian’s Columbia Campus and studies for a new central Medical System Laboratory building at University Hospital Cleveland.
Mr. Calcagni’s projects have been published in The New York Times, Healthcare Design and Architectural Record, has spoken at events for American Laboratory Congress, Laboratory Design and Healthcare Design Symposia, and has written papers on innovations in applied laboratory science in healthcare. As his clients include many research-based teaching institutes, Chip has worked for many Higher-Education clients on teaching-related programs including nursing education and physician training.


A degree in Genetics and a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of London, added the fuel to a life-long passion for science and the environment, setting Emma on a rewarding and varied career path working within a diverse range of Medical Diagnostic and Biotechnology Businesses across Wales. Today, Emma leads the European operations of global biosciences company Genesis Biosciences*, who are at the forefront of the STEM industry in Wales, combining natural science with state-of-the-art biotechnology and genomics to develop innovative, sustainable, Eco-benign products to replace harsh chemicals in waste remediation and industrial and Institutional cleaning challenges around the world.
In 2021, Genesis Biosciences were awarded inaugural Welsh National Environmental Award for “Sustainability through Innovation” and “Green Business of the Year”, “Technology Business of the year” and the overall “Cardiff Business of the Year” at the Cardiff Business Awards.
*Genesis applies natures own toolbox to develop innovative ‘Eco-benign’ cleaning products


Dr. Jacques Cohen is a reproductive biologist, laboratory product developer and high complexity laboratory director (HCLD). He is director and founder of the ART Institute of Washington, which runs the joint National Institute of Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center IVF program in Bethesda Maryland (USA). He is product developer and co-founder of IVFqc/Althea Science, which develops software solutions for laboratories and clinics. He was co-founder of Reprogenetics, a PGD service, now continuing as Cooper Genomics. He was a co-founder and product developer of Life-Global/IVF-Online. He has (co-)authored more than 300 publications, several textbooks and 12 patents. He is Emeritus Chief Editor of Reproductive Biomedicine Online.

He was one of the founders of Alpha – Scientists in Reproductive Medicine and one of the founders of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society - PGDIS. He is a founding member of the International IVF Initiative.

Jacques Cohen was born in The Hague, The Netherlands and graduated in Biology of Reproductive Science in 1978 at Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands. He has a Ph.D. from Erasmus University in Rotterdam (supervisor Prof. Gerard Zeilmaker), in aspects of in vitro fertilization and male factor infertility. His postdoctoral studies (1982-1985) were performed at Cambridge University (UK) and Bourn Hall Clinic (supervisor Prof Robert Edwards). Jacques Cohen has (co-)developed a number of embryological methodologies and devices: blastocyst cryopreservation, assisted fertilization, assisted hatching, preimplantation genetic testing, ooplasmic donation, single sperm freezing, CODA filtration, Global media, and GPS dishes. He currently serves on Advisory Boards of biotech startups TMRW, Kindbody, DADI and Phosphorus.


Giles is a clinical embryologist, skilled in laboratory, business, and quality management. After graduating in Genetics at Leeds University, UK he worked as a
research officer at London's Hammersmith Hospital's acclaimed IVF unit working with Professors Lord Winston and Alan Handyside. In the following years he worked as
laboratory manager and clinic director in IVF clinics in Greece while consulting in several countries including Iceland, Nigeria, and the Balkan states.
His research collaboration with St. Sophia' s Children's Hospital (Athens University) resulted in the first births in Greece following embryo-biopsy and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. He has published in leading scientific journals on a variety of topics including pre-implantation genetic testing for Cystic Fibrosis and B-thalassaemia, Morpho-kinetics, and Quality Management. He is a certified HCPC clinical scientist in the UK and has been accredited with Senior Embryologist Status by ESHRE.

More recently, Giles, has become a consultant for IVF clinics, Institute of Life, Athens and Nordica Fertility Centre in Lagos and product developer in a wide range of areas
within the industry.

He is the executive director for this non profit global educational project in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), the International IVF Initiative.


Anna is a Saint Petersburg State University graduate with a Master’s in Cell Biology. Before switching to clinical embryology, she researched non-coding DNA expression during human embryonal development at the Institute of Cytology (Russia).

During her 10-years career as a Clinical Embryologist in Russia and Canada, she has developed a passion for health and science communication. In Russia, she was involved in the professional education of embryologists and has delivered public lectures on reproductive technologies. Recently Anna expanded her interest in sustainable development and studied corporate sustainability and climate communication. She is excited to explore the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDG) in IVF clinics and biotech companies.

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