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DP World says raising frozen food temperatures can cut carbon emissions at COP28

DP World says raising frozen food temperatures can cut carbon emissions at COP28 Nomad Foods Food and Beverage Business

New research from Dubai-based international logistics group, DP World, suggests that storing frozen food at higher temperatures could have a significant positive impact on the environment. By increasing the freezer temperature from -18C to -15C, researchers estimate that 17.7 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions could be saved annually.

The study, conducted in collaboration with the International Institute of Refrigeration, the University of Birmingham, and South Bank University, also indicates that a three-degree increase in freezer temperature is unlikely to jeopardize food safety or quality. In fact, such a change could lead to energy savings of around 25TWh, equivalent to 8.63% of annual energy consumption in the UK.

Furthermore, the research suggests that raising freezer temperatures could reduce supply chain costs by more than 5%. This has led DP World to form the “Join the Move to -15C” coalition, which aims to encourage the food sector to adopt higher freezer temperatures and use less energy.

Maha AlQattan, group chief sustainability officer at DP World, emphasized the significance of this approach in combating the global issue of food wastage, stating, “A small temperature increase could have huge benefits…the industry can only change what’s possible by working together.”

The study has also received support from various shipping and refrigeration groups, including the Global Cold Chain Alliance, Mediterranean Shipping Company, and Ocean Network Express.

Professor Toby Peters from the University of Birmingham stressed the importance of reducing food loss to achieve global equitable food security, highlighting that “12% of food produced globally for human consumption is wasted as a result of a lack of proper temperature management.”

The study aligns with DP World’s decarbonization strategy, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Additionally, the company is committed to cutting its carbon footprint by 28% by 2030.

Rupert Ashby, CEO of the British Frozen Food Federation, echoed the study’s findings, emphasizing the potential energy savings without compromising food safety. The study also corresponds with earlier research conducted by Nomad Foods and food science researchers Campden BRI, further supporting the benefits of raising freezer temperatures.

It is clear that increasing freezer temperatures has the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions and enhance sustainability in the food industry. As the shift towards more sustainable practices continues to gain momentum, the findings of this study offer valuable insights for food and beverage businesses seeking to optimize their operations while minimizing their environmental impact.

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