The global situation
Energy consumption, deterioration of the ozone layer, global warming… the scope of all of these global problems is starting to dawn on us!
We are focusing on electricity consumption, which represents just 22% of total energy consumption.
It’s time to address all energy consumption, the source of direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, especially those due to food waste, and analyse which specific actions we can take in terms of commercial refrigeration!
828 million people suffer from hunger in the world. Nevertheless, 35% of the food produced goes to waste, or 1.3 billion tons of food each year.
All stages of the food chain, production, processing, distribution and consumption, contribute to the loss and waste of food.
Awareness of the United Nations and the European Goals
- At the COP27 Climate Change Conference (Egypt) in November 2022, the “United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation” (FAO) and the “United Nations Environment Programme” (UNEP) presented their conclusions at plenary meetings titled: “Sustainable cold chains help to reduce food waste and fight against climate change”.
Inger Andersen (Director of UNEP – UN Environment Programme), reiterated that, at a time when the international community needs to take action to deal with the climate and food crisis, sustainable cold chains could make a big difference.
Two European projects are aligned with the European Green Pact:
- Farm to fork: the main aim is to reduce food waste and limit inefficiency in food production (for example, consumption of local products to reduce transport emissions).
- The Enough Project: The main aim is to develop zero-emission supermarkets.
Europe is drawing up directives and regulations that each country and region must implement. They are quantified in particular in the “30-30-30” strategy, which redefined the 3 goals to be reached by 2030.
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: 55%
The 2023 revision of F-GAS, focusing on the almost exclusive use of natural refrigerants, CO2 and R-290, reduces direct emissions due to refrigerant leaks to “0”. That’s approximately a 50% reduction in emissions from a supermarket.
The Ecodesign and Ecolabel Directives have paved the way for the permanent reduction of indirect emissions (energy consumption) with the energy efficiency labelling of commercial refrigerator units and the ban on those with an EEI > 80% (Class G) in September 2023, and on those with an EEI > 65% (Class F) in the upcoming years.
Reduction of energy consumption: 35%
EXKAL is committed to reducing all aspects of energy consumption where our sector has a significant impact: the energy consumption of the supermarket itself and the additional energy consumption caused by the deterioration of food in supermarkets. The eco-label is leading the way with the first aspect. And the law against food waste is paving the way with the second.
Use of renewable energy: 35%
With the surface available on roofs and shading in car parks, it will be possible to reach 35% of use of renewable energy if the installed capacity in the supermarket is reduced.
The installation of units with the best possible EEI, with high efficiency solutions, helps towards this.
The role of electricity distribution and energy consumption in the European Union (27 countries)
Distribution makes an important contribution to the European Union’s electricity consumption, with 108 TWh/year (3.9% of total electricity consumption), of which 65 TWh correspond to refrigerator units. But what is even more sensitive is the energy consumption caused by food waste in the distribution channel. 314 TWh/year correspond to food waste in the European Union! There is huge potential for improvement there!
In line with the European strategy, the goal of reducing energy consumption for distribution is therefore:
- Electricity consumption:
Reduce the electricity consumption of refrigerator units in large-scale distribution by 35% (65 TWh/year), or 22.75 TWh/year
- Food waste:
Reduce energy consumption due to food waste in the supermarket by 35% (314 TWh/year), or 109.9 TWh/year.
The fight against food waste is therefore a key subject, and an even more important factor than electricity consumption for significantly reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
The specific solutions proposed by Exkal for:
→ Reducing food waste:
Exkal has spent years studying the impact of temperature on bacterial activity and proliferation, and the impact of temperature and lighting on duration, with the aim of extending the shelf life of fresh products and thus reducing waste. Exkal has therefore developed a unique solution on the market: the “Fresh Food” range. This S class (special classification) solution performs better than the 3M0 class. Thanks to a better temperature deviation than the 3M0 class, we obtain specific and optimal temperature regulations for preserving products. This results in:
- A significant reduction of microbial, organoleptic and nutritional alterations in fresh and perishable products when displayed and stored in refrigerator units.
- An increased shelf life of food in the shop (at least x2) and therefore the recommended expiry date or consumption limit.
- Better perception of the food by the consumer (colours, aspect…).
- Significant reduction of food waste.
- Important savings for the shop.
- A better image of the shop for consumers.
The “Fresh Food” range offers the best units for preserving the product and the most efficient in terms of energy consumption.
→ Reducing the electricity consumption of the unit:
The solutions developed over several years by Exkal have already reduced the electricity consumption of the units significantly:
- Sealing units with doors.
- Improving the refrigeration performance: low-consumption fan, air curtains, night curtains, aerofoil, etc.
- Decreased lighting consumption, especially thanks to the use of LEDs.
At Exkal, specifically, the energy consumption of our units has been reduced by 80% for wall units and 82% for semi-wall units since 2005. R&D&i at Exkal aims to improve these energy consumption reductions further, for example:
- By developing even more efficient units.
- The Space+ range that generates more space in the shop, less energy consumption, an optimised life cycle and a better ROI.
Distribution and commercial refrigeration have an important role to play in:
- Reducing food waste:
- Reducing energy consumption
- Reducing CO2 emissions
- Reaching carbon neutrality and reducing greenhouse gases:
- Directly, by using natural fluids (CO2, R290)
- Indirectly, by reducing energy consumption, using renewable energy and thermal batteries
So we are working together to create a more beautiful world for future generations!