|Since this article was published, AEA Technology plc’s business, operating assets and employees were acquired on the 8 November 2012 by Ricardo plc and transferred to a new subsidiary, Ricardo-AEA Ltd. All employees were transferred to Ricardo-AEA Ltd as part of the acquisition and remain available for the execution of all projects via the new company, as are the entire capability and resources previously represented by AEA Technology plc. All individuals remained at previous locations with all offices being retained.
Stakeholders from across the retail refrigeration industry have worked together to create a new Code of Conduct to reduce the environmental and climate impact associated with retail refrigeration systems. This collaborative approach was led by The Carbon Trust, British Refrigeration Association and Institute of Refrigeration, and supported by a consortium led by AEA Technology plc.
AEA led the team which provided project management, facilitation and technical support to the project. This included organising and managing four working groups which explored and developed the technical areas included in the Code of Conduct. Eight workshops brought together over 40 stakeholders from across industry, who all actively and enthusiastically committed their time and skills, ensuring the guide produced was both highly relevant, and had the buy-in of the industry.
The new code is a practical guide to enable those who work closely with refrigeration to make real changes in the efficiency and care of this equipment. Refrigeration systems make up over half of the energy usage within the UK retail sector and account for a total of 4% of total UK carbon emissions, producing 7.3 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
Rebecca Woollam, Specialist Consultant and Project Manager at, AEA said:
"This project sets new standards for industry collaboration to create a best practice approach. This is the right way forward if we are to make dramatic changes to attitude and behaviour, and it shows real progress to bring the retail industry to the forefront of efficiency and environmental consciousness - the industry has clearly demonstrated their buy-in and commitment through participation in this project."
"With commercial refrigeration systems using up to 50% of a typical retail outlet's total energy use, these were an obvious target for improving energy efficiency, and it requires the action of retailers, technology providers, consultants and engineers to bring about real change."
Once launched, the Code is estimated to bring CO2 emissions from retail refrigeration into check by around 20% over a 5 year period. It sets best practice in the areas of Training and Skills, Containment, Buildings and Testing and Inspection.
Richard Rugg, Director of Delivery Services at the Carbon Trust, said:
"Refrigeration is a big opportunity for retailers to cut their costs and their carbon emissions, Once finalised the Best Practice guide will be a simple reference hand book that managers working in the industry can use on a day-to-day basis to increase the cost-effectiveness of their systems."
With the first phase completed, the Code of Conduct has now gone through stakeholder consultation, managed by AEA, and the documents are currently being finalised. It is hoped that a second phase of the project will kick-off later in the year.
Full press release (PDF)