Key challenges for the UK’s cold chain

Reading, UK: The key challenges for the UK’s cold chain are set out in a new report from the Cold Chain Federation.

The report, Shaping the Cold Chain of the Future: The Road to Net Zero, published today on the first day of the federation’s Cold Chain Live! Towards a Net Zero Cold Chain virtual event, highlights the need to manage energy in cold stores differently and to reduce emissions in temperature-controlled distribution.

The report also details research priorities in each of these core areas.

Publication of the report starts four weeks of discussion, workshops and research led by the Federation for its Cold Chain Live! Towards a Net Zero Cold Chain virtual event

Publication of the report starts four weeks of discussion, workshops and research led by the Federation for its Cold Chain Live! Towards a Net Zero Cold Chain virtual event. It marks the launch of the Cold Chain Federation’s Net Zero project, “a long term commitment to guide the Federation’s members through the challenges posed by the UK Government’s pledge to achieve a Net Zero economy by 2050”.
The first week of Cold Chain Live! Towards a Net Zero Cold Chain will examine the theme of Defining Net Zero. As well as the new report and a series of thought leadership papers and expert blogs published on the Cold Chain Federation website today (Monday 28 September), the ‘Defining Net Zero’ theme will also be explored this week on:
Wednesday 30 September in an interview-style discussion between Tim Moran, Managing Director UK of Lineage Logistics, and Cold Chain Federation Chief Executive Shane Brennan; and
Friday 2 October through a virtual workshop featuring Cold Chain Federation policy director Tom Southall, Kuehne University Professor of Logistics, Alan McKinnon, and Star Refrigeration’s Rob Lamb.
Shane Brennan, chief executive, Cold Chain Federation says: “The cold chain is a force for climate good, helping tackle major global issues such as over-production, deforestation and food waste. As the cold chain grows ever more important worldwide, it is vital both commercially and environmentally that our industry stands ready to provide its services in an environmentally sustainable way.

“The ultimate ambition is a Net Zero cold chain, and this report marks the start of the Cold Chain Federation’s long-term commitment to bringing our industry together and setting out the path to Net Zero.”
The report identifies that the pathway to Net Zero for the UK cold chain will include five key stages:

  • Reducing the energy required for cooling
  • Technological advances to reduce direct emissions
  • Supply-chain wide collaboration
  • Developing better ways to manage energy and waste heat
  • Powering remaining cooling load from sustainable sources.

The subsequent weeks of Cold Chain Live! Towards a Net Zero Cold Chain will explore the relationship between Net Zero and changing customer requirements, vehicles in the cold chain, and cold chain infrastructure. Informed by the discussions over the next four weeks, in early 2021 the Cold Chain Federation will continue its Net Zero project by publishing a comprehensive report developing the concepts introduced in today’s paper and setting out recommendations for how to tackle the behavioural, structural and political hurdles to achieving Net Zero.
Tom Southall, policy director, Cold Chain Federation, says: “Naturally, the ongoing chaos wrought by Covid and the anticipation of serious disruption as a result of new post-Brexit customs arrangements next year are front of mind for cold chain businesses right now. But as regulation becomes increasingly stringent and energy prices continue to rise, the Net Zero challenge is one that we, as an industry, must tackle and there is no time to lose. Through our new Net Zero project, the Cold Chain Federation will be providing advice and support for our members every step of the way.”
Shaping the Future of the Cold Chain: The Road to Net Zero


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