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Cooling and freezing are key to deliver high quality and preserved food worldwide independently of the season, but consequently they are responsible for about 30% of electricity consumption of the food sector.
Energy efficiency could thus be of great importance for companies operating in this field, delivering energy savings and entailing non-energy related benefits (enhanced competitiveness, emissions mitigation, reduced maintenance requirements or an improved working environment).
Existing analyses and research on non-energy benefits and behavioural aspects related to energy efficiency mainly focus on individual companies and rarely on cold supply chains from the food and beverage industry.
Changing this focus could open up the possibility to focus on the most cost-effective “energy efficiency measures” (EEMs) across all stages of cold supply chains, e.g. by pooling resources. Such cross-company activities could also offer new opportunities for energy savings, e.g. by thinking about joint deliveries or by harmonizing maximum temperature levels along the chain while ensuring a high-quality and safe product. Though these potentials are appealing, their realization requires a close cooperation of companies along the chain.
To address this gap, this report investigates these aspects more closely along the whole cold supply chain of the food sector, thereby moving from the single company perspective to a full cold supply chain assessment and analysing blocking behavioural aspects and how ICCEE could support to overcome them (different priorities per actor, lack of know-how or communication, etc.).
The report follows 61 semi-structured interviews and an online-survey with 175 participants with companies active in cold supply chains from various member states of the European Union. It shows the interest of approaching energy efficiency with a supply chain rationale, presents the stakeholder surveying methodology, results and observations, and concludes with strategic conclusions, useful for the 2 next years of the ICCEE project:
- How to involve best the ICCEE stakeholders, especially in the trainings? The report concludes that a country-based approach for capacity building involving companies from various stages of the supply chain seems adequate since many supply chains appear to be mainly active in countries/larger regions. Start by involving stakeholders from storage and logistics to initiate exchange on energy-related issues.
- How to develop tools best fit to the target audience? They have to provide simplified and generalized models of cold supply chains but at the same time adaptable and scalable models adjustable to user needs. They should support companies to assess non-energy benefits derived from the implementation of energy efficiency measures (EEMs), especially direct economic benefits. Finally, the tools should cover funding opportunities and offer companies the opportunity to process their energy data as decision-making support in the implementation phase of efficiency measures.
- How can ICCEE support stakeholders from the supply chain to overcome blocking behavioural aspects? Establishing a communication channel on the ICCEE platform can help strengthen the exchange along the chain and networks between the participants can be promoted. This should help raising awareness of energy efficiency in addition to the planned training and workshops.