The Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) will be hosting its three-day International Conference on Sustainability and the Cold Chain online, from April 11-13. The event will feature a mix of live talks, Q&A with speakers, hosted discussion meetings, and one-to-one networking throughout.

There will be two free-to-attend workshops as part of the program. One will focus on carbon reduction opportunities for the food chain, while the other will focus on clean and efficient refrigeration solutions for food and healthcare sectors in developing countries. The full paid program will feature over 50 presentations, hosted discussions, and workshops, along with the ability to download conference papers and listen to recordings of all sessions after the event.

As part of the main program, the conference will offer coffee lounge discussions hosted by expert speakers, focusing on questions around key themes related to sustainability and the cold chain. A virtual conference foyer will allow attendees to make contact with other delegates individually or in groups.

The conference will be a platform to share global expertise on the cold chain. Papers will explore cold chain innovation, developments in refrigeration technology and design, and examine how a sustainable cold chain is being built in developing nations. The event will focus on how refrigeration can and is addressing key UN sustainable development goals related to hunger, health, energy, education, economic growth, infrastructure, sustainable cities, responsible production (reducing food waste), climate action and partnerships.

Session themes include:

  • Innovation in the cold chain;
  • Retail refrigeration, technology development and design; and
  • Building a sustainable cold chain in developing nations.

Papers will cover the following topics:

  • Storage, transportation and logistics;
  • Modelling and predictive tools;
  • Food quality, food safety, reducing food waste;
  • Pharmaceutical cold chain;
  • New technologies in design;
  • Sustainability and reducing climate change in the whole sector;
  • Innovations in energy supply, management and storage;
  • Energy use, heat recovery and demand reduction;
  • Sustainable and cost-effective refrigerant options;
  • Renewable technologies and energy generation;
  • Reducing the climate impact of refrigerants and refrigerant leakage throughout the cold chain; and
  • Carbon footprinting and reducing environmental impact

Andrea Voigt from Danfoss will deliver a keynote presentation entitled, Food for thought: How to make our food system more sustainable. While millions of people are undernourished, one-third of all food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted on the way from farm to fork.

The cold chain has a crucial role to play. All along the way from farm to fork, food safety, freshness, and hygiene must be secured with reliable as well as cost- and energy-efficient cold chain systems. However, food is not a “stand-alone” topic. It is intrinsically linked to themes such as biodiversity, water, urbanization — all of them under the umbrella of climate change and exacerbating the food challenge that will be faced in the coming decades.

What does it take to address these challenges? What role for the cold chain? What is needed to drive change and make our food system more sustainable? Do we need to radically change our habits, moving from global to local, from large scale to small scale, from traditional food production to artificial food production? Do we have the technologies needed and are we making good use of them? What are the main stumbling blocks?

This presentation will discuss ways to make our food system more sustainable from a societal and policy-based perspective, while highlighting the role of the cold chain and anchoring it in the fourth industrial revolution.

To register, visit here.