The number of green consumers in the United Kingdom is growing rapidly and they are becoming very conscious of the carbon footprint of the products they buy. When you combine this trend with the very obvious benefits to profitability, this means that the time is at hand when the food sector must change its operations and cut its carbon emissions if only to stay ahead of competitors.
Many food manufacturers and processors already have systems in place to ensure that excessive (and expensive) quantities of power are not used, temperatures of refrigeration equipment are kept within the correct levels for economic operation, loading bay doors kept shut when not in use and their staff made aware of the cost of wasting energy. However, this does not always apply to the distribution system, whether carried out by the manufacturer, their customer or a third party logistics provider.
There is an alternative to the obvious use of refrigerated vehicles for temperature sensitive goods portable, insulated and/or refrigerated containers. Thus the actual vehicles can have normal dry-freight bodywork without the need for costly refrigeration systems (both to buy and operate with many having an additional diesel engine). There is a saving in energy and reduced running costs as a result of lower unladen weight without refrigeration and less energy is consumed in the manufacture of a non-insulated body. It is also possible to reduce the actual vehicle fleet as both ambient and temperature-controlled goods can be carried in the same vehicle.
As the goods are delivered in their own mini cold stores there is no need for refrigerated stores at the delivery point. It is also not necessary to have temperature-controlled assembly areas or loading banks. An added benefit is that the refrigeration systems used by Olivo containers (eutectic plates or injected CO2) are totally silent ideal for out of hours deliveries.
As Olivo containers have a very long life, further energy requirements are not needed to regularly replace old and worn out equipment. By using eutectic plates for refrigeration these can be frozen in the freezing plant at the factory without the need for additional equipment. The Siber System of injected CO2 uses gas that is predominantly obtained from chemical processes in industry. This gas is usually just vented to atmosphere if not used.
The Carbon Trust, which exists to help companies to understand systematically the known risks and opportunities associated with climate change, found that last summer alone poor energy efficiency cost the UKs food and drink businesses at least 26 million! By simply adopting a forward-thinking approach to carbon emissions and looking closely at their supply chain with such simple solutions as annotated above, companies have the potential to realise significant carbon savings and develop new profit opportunities as we create a low-carbon economy. A wide range of food and pharmaceutical distribution organisations around the World have found that by choosing Olivo containers for their operations, large cost savings have been a feature and with the added benefits of considerable reductions in their carbon emissions.