The Centre for Sustainable Cooling Events


Meeting the world’s shared climate and social goals

Friday 14 May 2021, 2:00PM–4:00PM BST

Pathways to Net-Zero Cold-Chains

An industry webinar to discuss academic, industry and policy-maker collaborations to steer the future of cold-chains both in the UK and globally.

Temperature controlled supply chains are central to many aspects of a modern society and underpin socio-economic well-being as well as a population’s health – access to pharma and vaccines; access to nutritional food and reducing food loss within the supply chains; protecting and increasing farmer/rural incomes. Cold-chains are though energy intensive and currently reliant on both diesel, for example in a wide range of transport, weak grid and off-grid applications, and in many cases coal and/or natural gas based power grids.

If we are to transform the cold-chain sectors from farm to fork or “manufacturer to arm” and deliver access to cooling for all who need it sustainably in the shortest possible time, we have to work together at all levels – industry, private sector, governments, academia, development institutions and civil society among others – to make it happen.

A collaboration of University of Birmingham (UoB), London South Bank University (LSBU), Cranfield University (CU) and Heriot-Watt University (HWU) have won £multi-million funding to work across a series of significant Post-Harvest Management (PHM) and cold-chain research projects in both developed and developing markets; further projects are planned to be announced later this year. 

As central to this activity we are keen to engage industry in the programmes and are hosting a high-level webinar to introduce our planned work.

The webinar will explore:

Developing Nations

The new first of a kind Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-Chain (ACES), established in collaboration with the Governments of Rwanda and the UK and the United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency initiative. Headquartered at its own campus by the University of Rwanda in Kigali,Rwanda

  • Create the fit-for-market step-change pathways and business models to net zero cold-chain and cooling for all (Community Cooling Hubs)
  • Collaborate with industry to test and demonstrate the technologies that will helps steer the future of cold-chains
  • Providing applied research, teaching and industrial collaboration to put into action the defined integrated sustainable cooling solutions, the finance and business models and build local capacity and a trained workforce.
  • Establish Living Labs in strategic locations across Africa to provide a pan-continent network for deployment and implementation, driving the adoption and uptake of energy efficient and climate friendly solutions and their business models as well as build local capacity and a trained workforce.

Developed World (UK)

With major new UK Government-grant funding, a whole systems “farm to customer fridge” approach to redefine the UK’s cold-chain architecture and map the opportunities available to reach net-zero emissions by 2050

  • Provide a comprehensive evidence driven set of road maps for the UK food cold chain to be able to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Identify the roles for cooling and its technologies in providing flexibility and resilience in the wider energy systems.

Given the cold-chain is intrinsically about global inter-connectivity, the projects will present significant opportunities for synergy and shared thinking, approaches, learning and knowledge.

To find out more about this webinar please contact [email protected]

Download the Event Programme


The Centre for Sustainable Cooling regularly produce resources and research analysing the major challenges relating to cooling. We strive to outline the practical steps for changing the way we deliver, consume and think about sustainable cooling. Please follow the links below to find out more about our work.

Clean Cold and the Global Goals Resource

India's Third Agricultural Revolution Resource

Retail Refrigeration Resource

A Clean World Resource