Funding: £1.4 million (EPSRC)
Funder: UKRI

Zero Emission Cold-Chain brings together experts from across several UK Universities to build a roadmap to reach the UK’s 2050 net-zero carbon emissions target. This four-year project will challenge decarbonisation issues by exploring the techno-economic and behavioral aspects of the cold-chain system and the integration of sectors.

“Much of UK’s food is dependent on the cold food chain, which is also a significant contributor to the country’s energy demand. Our project is about thinking thermally and analysing engineering, energy resources, food quality and safety, finance and business aspects to crack the conundrum of sustainable decarbonisation of cooling and the cold-chain.

We’re bringing together world-leading researchers, industry, technology innovators and customers such as farmers and retailers to look at the whole system and map the opportunities and challenges to ensuring that the chain can support UK-wide Net Zero goals and decarbonise while also meeting demand and being resilient.” Project lead Professor Toby Peters, University of Birmingham.

Project partners will take a whole systems approach toward a sustainable cold-chain by exploring the reduction of cooling within food cold-chain, investigating sustainable technologies and the optimisation of cooling equipment and operations as well as integrating cooling demands into a single efficient system. The approach aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (12.3).

The ZECC project roadmap aims to:

Reduce carbon emissions and reach the UK’s 2050 net-zero target

Reduce food loss while maintaining the nutritional value of produce

Provide information on energy usage and the future of cooling energy consumption demands, taking a systems approach to demands and their impact on the UK

Reduce costs as well as identifying economic opportunities

Project News and Activities 

Meet the Team