Collaboration to Transform Cold Chain Transport

Trane Technologies, parent company of Thermo King, reinforced the essential need to decarbonize and transform the commercial transport industry and cold chain and called for quick action and greater collaboration at the GCCA European Cold Chain Conference in Brussels to ensure widespread adoption of technologies that reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiency.

“We believe that our industry can make a significant impact on global greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in the areas of heating and cooling and food loss,” said Claudio Zanframundo (pictured), president, Thermo King EMEA, Trane Technologies. “Decarbonization and transformation of the commercial transport industry and cold chain is possible, and it requires all of us to act together, to adopt the new technologies, including electrification and energy recovery solutions, to radically reduce emissions for a better planet for future generations.”

Trane Technologies’ Thermo King® brand is one of the leading providers of connected active temperature-controlled transport solutions in the cold chain industry. With a focus on precision cooling and digital advancements, Thermo King® is driving the shift toward electric refrigeration and energy recovery solutions in commercial transport. In November 2023, the company announced it fulfilled its August 2021 commitment to deliver fully electric, zero direct emission refrigeration solutions for every segment of the cold chain in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region by 2023.

Examples of these solutions include the E-Series, an innovative and future-proof electric refrigeration unit designed for sustainable operations in urban and inner-city areas. The E-Series is connected and powered directly by the vehicle’s battery, delivering optimal temperature-control performance with reduced energy consumption.

Another example is AxlePower, a revolutionary fully electric trailer refrigeration and energy recovery solution that eliminates the need for fuel consumption and increases uptime. The AxlePower energy recovery solution operates by harnessing the kinetic energy from the vehicle’s movement, such as braking and coasting, and stores it in a high-voltage battery. It can be used with both fully electric and hybrid vehicles and has been extensively tested and adopted by customers worldwide, with successful implementations from Belgium to South Africa.

Thermo King® recognizes the need to keep investing in innovation for the cold chain because of the potential to reduce emissions, but also because it plays a critical role in feeding society. Roughly 30% of the food produced worldwide is lost every year, before reaching consumers, largely due to uncontrolled environments and disruptions in the cold chain. Partnering with retailers, non-profits and the European Commission to reduce food waste, we recently co-developed a roundtable at the European Parliament to help accelerate progress and get more people taking action. The session was aligned to the EU’s commitment of meeting SDG 12.3 of halving per capita global food loss and waste by 2030.

Through bold, industry-leading action, Trane Technologies is advancing its 2030 Sustainability Commitments, including the Gigaton Challenge – a pledge to reduce customer greenhouse gas emissions by 1 billion metric tons (or, one gigaton) – and its pledge to be net-zero by 2050. In 2014, the company set its first science-based 2020 Climate Commitments – accelerating innovation to achieve them two years ahead of schedule. The company is first in its industry with near and long-term emissions reduction targets externally validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

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