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Cold Chain Federation launches Energy Benchmarking for cold storage

The Cold Chain Federation has revealed new Energy Benchmarks for UK cold stores, along with a bespoke tool available to the Federation’s members, to help businesses compare the energy usage of their cold stores with similar facilities around the UK. The new tool also indicates the financial and carbon savings that businesses could secure through further energy efficiency improvements at their cold storage sites.

The Federation created the Benchmarks and new tool to meet an industry need for up-to-date, UK-specific, robust information on cold storage energy usage, using the annual energy reported to the Cold Chain Federation from nearly 450 cold stores across the UK.

The new benchmarking tool has been created by the Cold Chain Federation working with Jacobs Engineering for the cold storage businesses which are signed up to the voluntary cold storage Climate Change Agreement (CCA) scheme.

Cold Chain Federation executive director Tom Southall said: “Our industry is making strong progress on improving the energy efficiency of cold stores, but there is plenty of scope for further carbon reduction and significant cost savings. Knowing how a site compares to the benchmark for similar facilities can give cold storage operators a stronger understanding of that site’s performance and progress, as well as a better sense of how much potential there is to improve energy efficiency further. Our new Energy Benchmarking Tool is designed to support our members as they continue their journey towards the net zero cold chain of the future, saving energy costs while adhering to increasingly stringent regulatory requirements and meeting their customers’ low carbon needs.”

Determining the operator’s cold storage SEC (Specific Energy Consumption, which calculates energy consumption against storage volume), the new benchmarks and accompanying dashboard assesses the site’s energy performance against a benchmark for its cohort group. The six cohorts are based on cold stores’ cooling volumes and whether they are used for majority chilled or frozen products. The new tool also shows the operator the site’s energy efficiency progress between 2021 and 2022 in the context of their cohort’s progress over the same period; and calculates the cost and carbon savings that the site could make by reaching the energy efficiency of the ‘best in class’ of their cohort.

The creation of this new tool is part of the Cold Chain Federation’s Energy Benchmarking Project, a long-term commitment to support the industry to reduce costs whilst saving energy. The project has enabled the federation to publish, for the first time, high level results of cold storage energy benchmarks to support businesses outside the CCA to improve their energy efficiency.

For more information on the Cold Chain Federation’s Energy Benchmarking Project, including the high level results for 2022, visit


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