Cold Chain Players Reset Freezing to -15°C For Sustainability And Lower Emissions

 

  • The Move to -15°C coalition has more than doubled its membership numbers since its COP28 launch, featuring representatives from every stage of the frozen food supply chain
  • It was always the most sensible solution once it was ascertained that the previous limit of -18°C had no scientific basis vis a vis -15°C

The frozen food temperature set point of -18°C was established as an industry standard a century ago, but with little evidence, and logistics technology has improved substantially since. Building on academic research which shows that a small three-degree change in temperature could make a significant environmental impact with no compromise on food safety, the Move to –15°C aims to reduce emissions and cut supply chain costs. As of 2024, food refrigeration for commercial purposes makes up for 15% of greenhouse gases being emitted.

The Move to -15°C, a sustainability initiative dedicated to cutting carbon emissions in the frozen food supply chain, has more than doubled its membership since its launch at COP28. Aiming to reduce carbon emissions by the frozen food industry massively by increasing the temperature required to store frozen food from -18 C to -15 C, the initiative builds on academic research which shows that the move will lead to lower emissions without any compromise to food safety.

The Move to -15°C has recently secured support from Nomad Foods, Europe’s leading frozen food manufacturer and the company behind iconic brands including Bird’s Eye, Findus and Iglo. According to a study released by Nomad Foos, storing food at -15 C can reduce freezer energy consumption by 10-11% without any noticeable impact to product safety, texture, taste or nutritional value.

Other key players within the food industry including Danish Crown and the American Frozen Food Institute have shown their commitment to the coalition as well. Since launch, commitment from the global transport and logistics industry has continued to grow, with companies like Indicold, Blue Water Shipping and Constellation Cold Logistics being the latest among industry peers to join the movement. Seacube Container Leasing, one of the largest purchasers and lessors of refrigerated containers in the world, Orbcomm and Seafrigo have also joined the coalition.

Thomas Eskesen
Thomas Eskesen

Thomas Eskesen, Chairman of the Move to -15°C Coalition, said: “Collaboration is essential to our success, so we are delighted to have attracted so many notable new members to our Coalition. Not only is it great to see our geographic footprint growing, but we are also seeing more members and representatives from across every stage of the frozen food supply chain. By redefining temperature set points, we stand to make a significant impact in the decarbonisation of global supply chains. But no one company can do this alone. To set us up for success, our focus remains on scaling our membership base and we encourage key players within the frozen food supply chain to reach out and get involved.”

Impact:

  • Save 17.7 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent annual emissions of 3.8m cars annually  
  • Create energy savings of around 25 terawatt-hours (TW/h) – equivalent to 8.63% of the UK’s annual energy consumption   
  • Cut costs in the supply chain by at least 5% and in some areas by up to 12%    

  

The move might indicate time for refrigerator manufacturers to also perhaps preset their freezers at -15°C, rather than -18°C, as we see in many cases in India as well.

 

Yash Singh

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