More than 800 million people worldwide go to bed hungry, while one-third or more of all food produced never reaches consumers due to spoilage and waste, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Against the backdrop of World Food Day and in response to this issue and its resulting 3.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, Carrier, the world’s leader in high-technology refrigeration solutions, announces its inaugural “World Cold Chain Summit to Reduce Food Waste” in London on Nov. 20. Carrier is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
The conference will convene global leaders in academia, government and business to discuss food waste in emerging and developed economies. Participants will identify actions needed to accelerate progress in cold chain technology and policy development. Keynote speakers include Philippe Cousteau, environmentalist and grandson of the undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, and Barton Seaver, National Geographic fellow and director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The cold chain, which includes marine container refrigeration, truck and trailer refrigeration and food retail refrigeration, enables global food to remain fresh for safe consumption from farm to store. “With new technologies and practices for a more efficient cold chain, significant progress can be made to reduce global CO2 emissions, improve cross-border economic activity and help reduce hunger,” said David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems. “We are proud to convene and engage experts across private and public sectors to collaborate on developing actionable strategies to reduce food waste.”
“A green cold chain is an essential strategy to not only extend food supplies, but also reduce the significant emissions produced by food waste every year,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. We can meet the food needs of a growing planet with a simple equation — waste less, feed more — with substantial benefits to the natural environment.”
Also at the summit, researchers from the University of Nottingham will preview findings that are part of a new global research project sponsored by United Technologies. The research focuses on the transport, storage and retail display of refrigeration systems for perishable foods such as meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products, between producers and consumers in developed and emerging economies.
“Issues contributing to food loss among developed and emerging economies vary dramatically,” said Professor Tim Foster, University of Nottingham. “While emerging economies face significant challenges in energy and transportation, which are key to enabling an effective cold-chain infrastructure, food waste in developed economies is often behavior based. For example, a preoccupation with the aesthetics of food results in an estimated 20 percent of edible, but not necessarily pretty, fruits and vegetables going to waste.”
“We know that by ‘greening the cold chain’ – better managing the global food supply with existing cold chain technologies – we can help to reduce food waste, feed more people and substantially reduce the carbon footprint associated with the production and supply of food,” said Appel. “This is what truly excites us, to serve a higher purpose of making life better for people around the world.”
Formal research findings from the University of Nottingham will be published in early 2015. For more information about the World Cold Chain Summit to Reduce Food Waste, or to register to attend, please email Jon Shaw at [email protected].
Founded by the inventor of modern air conditioning, Carrier is the world’s leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions. Carrier experts provide sustainable solutions, integrating energy-efficient products, building controls and energy services for residential, commercial, retail, transport and food service customers. Carrier is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide. For more information, visit www.carrier.com or follow @CarrierGreen on Twitter.