The International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR), based in Paris, France, has developed a carbon footprint model that the group says would help reduce food waste by 55% and global CO2 emissions by 50%.

The model is described in a report, “The Carbon Footprint of the Cold Chain: 7th Informatory Note on Refrigeration and Food,” published in April.

The carbon footprint model calculates CO2e emissions for each stage of the current global cold chain, including all countries in the world. The emissions from the current global cold chain are then compared with those of an “improved” cold chain. “The latter corresponds to a reasonable assumption in which the cold chain in all countries is brought to the same level of equipment and performance as that existing in developed countries,” the report said.

From this, the report concluded that “an improved global cold chain would allow a reduction of almost 50% of the CO2 emissions of the current cold chain” and “would also avoid 55% of the food losses attributable to the current cold chain.”

According to IIR estimates, 12% of food produced globally in 2017 was lost due to an insufficient cold chain.

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Author Ntsako Khosa