Research Suggests Adjusting Frozen Food Temperatures Could Significantly Reduce Carbon Emissions

Experts Advocate Move to -15°C for Significant Environmental Impact Without Compromising Safety

In a groundbreaking study, researchers from the International Institute of Refrigeration, the University of Birmingham, and London South Bank University propose that a modest three-degree shift in frozen food storage temperatures could yield substantial environmental benefits. Currently stored at -18°C, a standard unchanged for 93 years, lowering the temperature to -15°C could cut carbon emissions equivalent to 3.8 million cars annually.

The study, supported by leading logistics firm DP World, introduces the “Join the Move to -15°C” coalition. This initiative aims to redefine frozen food temperature standards, not only for environmental gains but also to reduce supply chain costs and ensure food resources for the growing global population.

Key Findings:

  • A shift to -15°C could save 17.7 million metric tonnes of CO2 annually, equivalent to the emissions of 3.8 million cars.
  • Energy savings of approximately 25 terawatt-hours (TW/h) could be achieved, akin to 94.98% of Delhi’s annual electricity consumption.
  • Supply chain costs could see reductions ranging from 5% to 12%.

ALSO READ Global Net Zero Ambitions Face Barriers, KPMG Report Reveals

Industry Coalition and Support:
The “Join the Move to -15°C” coalition, backed by DP World and joined by industry leaders such as AJC Group, Maersk, Daikin, and more, seeks to collaboratively explore and implement the proposed temperature adjustment. Maha AlQattan, Group Chief Sustainability Officer at DP World, emphasizes the industry’s need for a collective effort to bring about change and achieve net-zero ambitions by 2050.

Addressing Environmental Costs and Global Food Challenges:
While freezing food extends shelf life, it incurs an environmental cost. The logistics industry, grappling with decarbonization and rising energy bills, faces increased demand for frozen food. The coalition aims to strike a balance, ensuring sustainability without compromising food security.

The initiative not only targets environmental concerns but also addresses global food challenges. With an estimated 12% of annual food wastage due to insufficient refrigeration logistics, and over 820 million people facing hunger, the initiative seeks to deploy accessible storage technologies globally to reduce food scarcity.

ALSO READ Air Purifiers vs Humidifiers: Which is Best for You?

Looking to the Future:
As the global population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, the “Join the Move to -15°C” coalition emerges as a pivotal tool in building resilience and ensuring future food security. Professor Toby Peters emphasizes the importance of transforming food storage practices to sustainably feed communities across the globe, protecting nutritious food sources for years to come.

In conclusion, the initiative presents a pioneering step towards reshaping frozen food standards, aligning environmental sustainability with the crucial task of meeting global food demands.