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

Abstract

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.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Data matrices for Food Loss/Waste(FLW) and global warming potential estimates for UK produce 
Description Two data matrices have been developed for WP4 - i) an analysis of food loss and waste estimates for UK horticultural products at specific supply chain stages and ii) estimates of environmental impacts (global warming potential) of UK fresh produce, again broken down by supply chain stage. Both have been produced from literature reviews 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2022 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Both of these areas will be combined to enable identification of food loss and waste hotspots in the UK supply chain to guide later activities 
 
Title Dataset of drivers for food cold chain demand up to 2050 
Description A list f drivers are collected from the literature on their impact of food cold chain demand. The drivers cover technology, infrastructure, social, behavioural, finance and environmental aspects. 
Type Of Material Data handling & control 
Year Produced 2022 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The dataset provides useful information for developing a model to estimate GHG emissions of future food cold chain in the UK. 
 
Title Quantifying Food Loss and Waste for Fresh Produce in the UK - Stakeholder Survey 
Description A survey has been developed for use in the UK supply chain to quantify food loss/waste (FLW) in fresh produce and identify key FLW drivers. 
Type Of Material Data handling & control 
Year Produced 2022 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact No impacts to date, but once deployed the survey will provide up-to-date evidence for the incidence of food loss and waste in the UK supply chain, including volumes and root causes. This will be used to identify hotspots for intervention through the project, although the wider data will also be useful for benchmarking loss and waste for sector stakeholders looking to improve their current practice. 
 
Description Sustainable Cold-Chain Systems For Food Resilience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This was in collaboration with the Sustainable Cold-Chain Systems For Food Resilience (SCC) project which feeds into the ZECC project. The event had good participation and discussion and feedback from attendees
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://ukerc.ac.uk/events/sustainable-cold-chain-systems-for-food-resilience-3/
 
Description Zero emissions cold chain stakeholders event. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The event was aimed at business/industry partners to brief them on the progress of work and obtain feedback on the industry perspective. The session generated a healthy discussion and very useful feedback to be incorporated in to the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021