The food and drink industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK. Progressing from farm to fork, over 70% of our food goes through the cold-chain, with food refrigeration estimated to be responsible for 2-4% of the UKs total GHG emissions.

This project will update and add to current information on energy and carbon emissions from the cold chain. It will assess future cold chain emissions, based on business as usual and identify routes the cold chain can follow to become zero carbon by 2050.

The project will provide comprehensive evidence-driven roadmaps for the UK food cold chain to help them achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050 while still:

  • nutritiously and resiliently feeding the UK,
  • protecting the livelihoods and well-being of our farmers, fishers and food producers, and
  • supporting the transition to new renewables energy resources and associated energy vectors, in a warming world.

The food cold chain is complex and lacks integration between sub-sectors. Although technological issues exist, many decarbonisation issues are techno-economic or behavioural. Therefore the project will integrate technical, behavioural, financial and business aspects to provide sustainable integrated solutions to the decarbonisation conundrum.

The project involves teams from LSBU (London South Bank University), University of Birmingham and Heriot Watt University. During the project the partners will work with UK industry partners representing companies involved in food manufacturing logistics, retail and domestic cooling.