Roof staff

Energy use and emissions from refrigeration to be explored in new research project

19 December 2022

A ground-breaking new research project will investigate energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from the transport, industrial and commercial refrigeration (TICR) sectors in the UK. The transport, industrial and commercial refrigeration sectors that are major users of energy across many businesses will play a critical part in the UK’s net zero agenda.

The new research project will explore six areas in depth:

  • Datacentres
  • Food and drink manufacturing sites
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Cold stores
  • Transport refrigeration units.

BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) are funding this research project on the non-domestic cooling sector, to look into trends, emissions and innovation potential of decarbonising industrial and commercial refrigeration. Its aim is to identify how to facilitate sector-wide decarbonisation and achieve net zero.

The work will run for two years and will include roadmaps, sector-specific guidance, training and a programme of events in 2023/4 which will be used to drive forward decarbonisation strategies and policies in transport, industrial and commercial refrigeration sectors. The research work is being managed by a consortium of experts led by London South Bank University (LSBU).

Catarina Marques, PhD FInstR, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Engineering at LSBU and Director of the TICR consortium, said: “This new research project will guide the transport, industrial and commercial refrigeration sectors towards net zero It will provide benefits to consumers such as food, IT and pharmaceutical security and climate change mitigation. Our team of experts will foster vital long-term collaboration between industry, academia and government and ensure that the findings from the research are widely disseminated.”

Partners in the project include London South Bank University, Carbon Limiting Technologies, the Carbon Trust, Carbon 3 IT, the Centre for Sustainable Cooling at the University of Birmingham, the Institute of Refrigeration and Star Technical Solutions.

Stakeholders from Government Departments will be involved including BEIS, DEFRA and the Department for Transport. An advisory board to ensure input from business includes trade associations the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board, the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, Chilled Food Association, Cold Chain Federation, The Data Centre Trade Association and Food and Drink Federation.

A website ( will be launched in January 2023 and will contain information about how businesses using cooling technologies and specialists in the sector can get involved in contributing to the research at an early stage. This will include a sign-up for project updates and news, and information workstreams, timetables, reports and tools.