Did you know, frozen food can help a warming planet?

Did you know, frozen food can help a warming planet?

Maha Al Qattan, Group Chief Sustainability Officer |

Dear global leaders in trade,

Back in the 1930s, the world agreed to set the temperature of much of the frozen food we collectively transport at -18° Celsius. In almost a century since, supply chains have modernised and cooling technology has advanced hugely.

At the same time, we’ve seen exponential growth in the volume of blueberries, broccoli, shellfish and all the other food we supply for the plates of consumers worldwide.

But that temperature standard has not changed. It was set at -18°C partly for convenience – it is the same as zero degrees Fahrenheit.

So, at DP World, we set out to verify the potential savings in carbon and energy if everyone involved in the global cold chain turned the temperature up by three degrees, from -18 to -15.

To check our theory, we commissioned independent academics from universities across Europe and Africa and the International Institute of Refrigeration - including experts on food science, climate change, socioeconomics and the cold chain. They concluded that the small change of three degrees can make a very big difference.

It would save the equivalent carbon emissions of taking 3.8 million cars off the road and create energy savings of between 5% and 12%. With no impact on the quality of the food itself – food that the world badly needs.

We believe the time is right to consider a move to -15°C as a new standard to reduce industry emissions, cut costs for operators and secure future food resources for communities everywhere.

We believe this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change what is possible in the cold chain to the benefit of all.

And we know that it will take all of us in the industry, working together, to make this change. Which is why we’re inviting our peers, partners and competitors to join us. Already Maersk, Lineage, MSC and many others are on board – and we’d love more of you to be part of our coalition for change.

As Dubai prepares to host COP28 in the UAE, we invite you to join us to explore how the industry can make this change together.

Join the Move to -15°.

Yours in partnership

Maha AlQattan

Chief Sustainability Officer, DP World