Global Experts moving forward on Sustainability and the Cold Chain at the 7th International Conference

The IIR International Conference on Sustainability and the Cold Chain, which was organised by the IOR and took place online from 11 to 13 April, provided an effective platform for experts all over the world to share their latest findings on topics related to sustainability and the cold chain. The conference takes place every two years, and this year it featured over 50 presentations, and over 100 delegates from across the globe and covered important topical subjects such as decarbonising the grid, sustainable food and the cold chains, reducing energy use and utilising heat recovery among others.

The event included three detailed workshops on carbon reduction for the food chain, projects on clean and efficient refrigeration solutions for food and healthcare sectors in developing countries and ammonia safety. The conference included three coffee lounges which provided the delegates with the opportunity to discuss themes and ask questions of a series of experts.

The conference was held online which allowed participants from all over the world to interact not just with the expert speakers but also between themselves with one to one discussions and small group meetings and commissions meetings taking place during the three days. The online platform used is remaining open for the whole of April, allowing delegates to carry on their conversations until the end of the month.

Commenting on the conference, Conference Chair and Chair of the International Committee, Dr Andy Pearson FInstR, said “This conference has been very timely.  The recent increases in energy costs have had an effect at all stages of the cold chain and have made the sustainability aspect of the conference more significant than ever before.  It was very encouraging to hear from the United Nations and representatives of the UK Government in their keynote addresses that the critical contribution of the cold chain to modern life in all parts of the world has been acknowledged and that the opportunities that it affords are not being ignored.  I hope that all stakeholders in the cold chain, from logistics specialists through construction and maintenance companies to researchers and teachers will find helpful content in the papers and workshops presented.  It is also very good to note that the online conference platform provides a resource that can be used by all delegates over the coming weeks and months in a way that just would not have been possible if we had met face-to-face and then gone our separate ways.”

The conference was also used as an opportunity to welcome the work of student researchers.  A prize for the best paper and presentation was awarded to Abdulquadri Alaka from Massey University in New Zealand for his research on Testing the Validity of Scale Modelling Theory in order to Develop a Physical Scale Model of a Refrigerated Container. He received a £500 prize from the Institute of Refrigeration.

Conference delegates will be able to revisit any of the recorded presentations thanks to the on-demand library of conference sessions available until the end of 2022. They also have access to all 50 technical papers as part of the proceedings.

Visit to find out more about the programme and speakers.