Danfoss: Better Cold Chain Infrastructure a Must for Africa

Engineering giant Danfoss is calling for more sustainable, energy-efficient cold chains to be established in Africa. Picture: Danfoss
Engineering giant Danfoss is drawing attention to the need to establish more sustainable, energy-efficient cold chains in Africa and beyond

It seems scarcely believable that 14% of food worldwide is lost due to a lack of effective refrigeration, according to the UN Environment Programme – enough to feed a billion people.

To find an even starker demonstration of the food waste happening across the globe, one must look to Sub-Saharan Africa, where up to 40% of food is lost between farms and markets, with two-thirds of this coming in the first mile.  

Clearly, then, significant investment in cold chain infrastructure is required to save money and save the planet. Leading the charge in this space is the engineering giant, Danfoss, which is drawing attention to the need to establish more sustainable, energy-efficient cold chains in Africa and beyond. 

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Stimulating global energy action

The need to stimulate global action on energy efficiency was a key focus at the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) ninth annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency, which took place this week in Nairobi, Kenya. 

As increasing temperatures, population growth, urbanisation and rising incomes drive an increased need for cooling, the first-ever Global Cooling Watch Report – launched at last year’s COP28 summit – predicts cooling demand could triple by 2050. 

This would lead to a doubling of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, equivalent to more than the total annual GHG emissions produced by the US today. 

However, the same report shows that driving efficiency in cold chain and refrigeration through minimum energy performance standards and passive cooling can deliver 30% of the required energy savings by 2050, while greatly reducing food loss and waste. This large energy saving is due to the 24-hour, year-long operation of refrigeration. 

Astrid Mozes, President of Regions at Danfoss

“The good news is that near-zero emission cooling is possible,” comments Astrid Mozes, President of Regions at Danfoss. “In fact, emissions in 2050 could be cut by 97% with readily-available technology including state-of-the-art energy efficiency.

“Kenya is one country where sustainable business models and financing solutions are key to delivering sustainable and reliable cold chains.” 

Danfoss working to establish secure cold chains

One example of important work being done locally to establish secure cold chains in parts of Africa is the Loss2Value Project, launched by Danfoss and DanChurchAid, a Danish humanitarian NGO, in Kenya. 

The project’s objective is to reduce post-harvest losses by emphasising the concrete value of energy-efficient cold storage to smallholder farmers and traders in Kenya and creating the ecosystem to make it a sustainable business case. 

Danfoss has launched the Loss2Value Project in Kenya alongside DanChurchAid. Picture: Danfoss

By implementing sustainable business models and financing solutions, the initiative is empowering SMEs and farmers to make positive change. 

It’s an initiative that not only addresses immediate challenges, but also contributes to creating a lasting and resilient impact on the agricultural landscape in Kenya.  

Meanwhile, Danfoss recently enrolled 12 students across Africa to collect market data from their home countries relating to food waste. The mechanical and electrical engineering specialists spent six months conducting research on food facilities, hotels and industries in Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya and the Ivory Coast.

The hope is that these young minds can gain useful insights for future and existing Africa-related cold chain projects.


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