Move to –15°C initiative gains momentum in frozen food supply chain

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

The Move to -15°C, a sustainability initiative dedicated to cutting carbon emissions in the frozen food supply chain, has more than doubled its membership since its launch at COP28 in 2023.

The frozen food temperature set point of -18°C was established as an industry standard a century ago, but with little evidence, and logistics technology has improved substantially since. Building on academic research which shows that a small three-degree change in temperature could make a significant environmental impact with no compromise on food safety, the Move to –15°C aims to reduce emissions and cut supply chain costs.

The Move to -15°C initiative aims to save 17.7 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, create energy savings of around 25 terawatt-hours (TW/h), equivalent to 8.63 per cent of the UK’s annual energy consumption, and cut costs in the supply chain by at least five per cent and in some areas by up to 12 per cent.

Recognizing that a shift in temperature set points from -18°C to -15°C requires a collaboration from the entire frozen food supply chain, the Move to -15°C recently secured support from Nomad Foods, Europe’s leading frozen food manufacturer and the company behind iconic brands, including Bird’s Eye, Findus and Iglo. In February 2024, Nomad Foods released the 12-month results of its ongoing landmark study, which revealed that storing frozen food at -15°C, instead of the industry standard -18°C, can reduce freezer energy consumption by 10-11 per cent without any noticeable impact on product safety, texture, taste or nutritional value.

Other key players within the food industry have also shown their commitment to the Coalition, including international Danish food company, Danish Crown.

Since launch, commitment from the global transport and logistics industry has continued to grow. Worldwide transport and logistics provider, Blue Water Shipping, Europe’s second largest cold logistics operator, Constellation Cold Logistics and Indicold, provider of cold storage and logistics solutions in India, are the latest to join industry peers in the Move to –15°C.

Furthermore, one of the largest purchasers and lessors of refrigerated containers in the world, Seacube Container Leasing, IoT technology pioneers, Orbcomm and Seafrigo, which has developed a worldwide network within the refrigerated space, have also recently joined the coalition.

Thomas Eskesen, chairman of the Move to -15°C Coalition, said, “Collaboration is essential to our success, so we are delighted to have attracted so many notable new members to our coalition. Not only is it great to see our geographic footprint growing, but we are also seeing more members and representatives from across every stage of the frozen food supply chain.

“By redefining temperature set points, we stand to make a significant impact in the decarbonization of global supply chains. But no one company can do this alone. To set us up for success, our focus remains on scaling our membership base and we encourage key players within the frozen food supply chain to reach out and get involved.”

On June 25, Eskesen joined the panel discussion ‘Revolutionizing Food Sustainability and Supply Chains’ at Reset Connect, where he and other industry experts discussed the challenges confronting the food industry today and the solutions, like the Move to –15°C, that are being deployed to tackle them head-on.