Strategy #4: Energy efficient storage and cooking

Energy efficient storage and cooking

4.1 Food storage

Food service results in GHG emissions due to energy use in kitchens where storage and food preparation take place. An example is refrigeration, which, for many foods, is part of nearly every stage in the supply chain. Refrigeration generates emissions in two ways: energy used during operation and the emissions from refrigerant gases. For these reasons, it is important for a food service operator to use and maintain energy efficient equipment that contains refrigerants besides hydrofluorocarbons, which have high global warming potential.

Another means to address emissions from refrigeration is to simply minimize its use when possible. Sensitive fruits and vegetables, like berries, need to be refrigerated during every stage of their life cycle, while some produce, like tomatoes, need to be refrigerated after ripening at room temperature. Purchasing food items more frequently and using them right away, instead of storing them in the refrigerator for long periods of time, is another way to reduce the need for refrigeration.

4.2 Energy efficient kitchen equipment and technologies

In 2008, Carbon Trust published The Sustainable Procurement Guide. Procuring Sustainably Using BS8903. According to Carbon Trust, catering operations waste large amounts of energy, primarily by dispersing wasted energy into the kitchen as heat. The guide suggests a range of technologies and actions to produce energy savings: cooking, washing and refrigeration equipment; heating, ventilation and lighting, and energy management and employee training. To view the guide, go to: Carbon Trust Food Preparation and Catering.

See below for resources and case studies related to this strategy: