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Cold chain highlighted on World Refrigeration Day

World Refrigeration Day (WRD) is celebrated annually on June 26, the birth date of Lord Kelvin, after whom the absolute temperature scale is named. This year, the day will be dedicated to cold chain technology, and its vital role in food security and in preserving public health and wellbeing.

Designated as the world’s biggest celebration for the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat-pump sector, WRD is an international awareness campaign that was created last year to raise the sector’s profile and focus attention on the significant role that the industry and its technology play in modern life and society.

 “World Refrigeration Day is an opportunity to celebrate the wide range of temperature applications from cryogenics and superconductors through to sustainable heating, thermal energy storage and heat recovery,” says Steve Gill, Head of the WRD Secretariat. 

“The inaugural World Refrigeration Day in June 2019 was a monumental success,” Gill says.  “More than 800 physical events in at least 153 countries were held last year, along with numerous online activities.”

Celebrating the importance of the cold chain sector, this year’s theme is supported by the launch of the ColdChain4Life campaign.

The campaign is led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), ASHRAE, the European Partnership for Energy and Environment (EPEE), the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR), and the WRD Secretariat.

ColdChain4Life addresses the importance of the cold chain sector and its vital contribution to food safety and security as well as public health and wellbeing.

The cold chain connects producers and growers across the world to the domestic refrigerator in our kitchens. It allows for the chilling of vaccines before they are used by medical professionals, and is a critical component for blood transfusions and organ donor transport and storage.

“Reducing food losses is one of the most important challenges concerning food security in the future as well as reducing global warming,” says IIR Director General Didier Coulomb. “Building good cold chains worldwide is the best answer.”

According to the IIR, every year about 475 million tonnes of lost food could be saved and used to feed 950 million people.

“World Refrigeration Day is a great opportunity for all of us to celebrate the tremendous contribution that refrigeration and air conditioning makes to our societies,” says acting head of UNEP OzonAction, James Curlin. “This includes enabling our agricultural and food systems to harvest, store, transport and sell the foods that nourish us all. The cold chain is what makes this possible.”

On June 26, a free webinar describing the value of the cold chain will be hosted as a way to get the message out to the public, government, and end users.

The organisers say the webinar’s aim is to motivate adoption of best practices that minimise food waste and loss in the supply chain process, stimulate wise technology selections, and enhance operations for minimising leakage of refrigerants and maximising energy efficiency.

All professionals in the cooling sector and users of refrigeration technology are invited to support World Refrigeration Day and promote the ColdChain4Life campaign. To date, more than 300 companies and professional, scientific, and trade associations are supporters.

To get involved or share ideas for the initiatives, visit  

Visit AIRAH’s World Refrigeration Day page.

Connect with the cold chain campaign at #COLDCHAIN4LIFE and with World Refrigeration Day at #WREFD20.

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