Zero Emission Cold-Chain(ZECC) - Building the Road to Sustainable Cold-Chain Systems for Food Resilience

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Chemical Engineering


This project will bring together (i) world-leading interdisciplinary researchers from the UK working across the food cold chain sector and sustainable energy; (ii) stakeholder industries; (iii) new technology innovators and (iv) cold-chain customers from farmer to retailer to provide fundamental new knowledge and a whole systems approach to redefine the cold-chain architecture and map the opportunities available to reach net zero emissions by 2050 so as to deliver (i) demand and climate adaptation, (ii) resilience and (iii) decarbonisation of the cold-chain for the food industry and its stakeholders from farmer and fishers to consumers simultaneously.
The food cold chain is complex and lacks integration between sectors. Although technological challenges exist, many decarbonisation issues are techno-economic or behavioural. The project will integrate technical (engineering and food quality/safety), behavioural, financial and business aspects to provide sustainable integrated solutions to the decarbonisation conundrum. More than 60% of our food is dependent on the cold-chain, and cold-chain is a major contributor to our energy demand. The project will provide new information into in a field that has not been researched from a system approach yet.


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