The P & M Group

Leading the charge – The P & M Group presents energy efficiency recommendations in Cold Chain Federation webinar

As an SME, The P & M Group is punching well above its weight in the field of sustainability and supporting their industry in its drive to Net Zero. Earlier this month, we took the opportunity to share our insight with more than 100 professionals as part of Cold Chain Energy Week. The Cold Chain Federation (CCF) asked us to participate in a member webinar to showcase our service offer and demonstrate the financial and environmental benefits of reducing energy consumption.


Our Group Sustainability Manager Joanne Swift discussed the importance of driving energy efficiency from both an ecological and economic perspective. As cold chain operators strive to reduce their costs and carbon footprint, they are seeking guidance on measures that will benefit people, planet and profit. 


Trusted partner in embracing energy efficiency 


The P & M Group is committed to supporting customers in securing efficiency gains and Joanne took the opportunity to present the key findings of our report trilogy, “The hidden cost of a coldstore: From energy consumption to health and safety.” – you can download the series by clicking here.


These comprehensive reports provide invaluable insight into energy saving measures across coldstore facilities. From highlighting the importance of thermal insulation and air tightness to exploring the value of efficient door systems, the detailed reports set out key steps operators can take to reduce their energy consumption. 


The webinar allowed Joanne to engage with professionals across the industry and share best practice. She went on to explain how the interventions outlined in the reports will not only cut energy bills and help combat climate change through decarbonisation, but improve the longevity of facilities and ensure they are safer environments to work in.


Climate Change Agreement


It is critical that coldstore operators maintain momentum in reducing their carbon footprint. During the webinar, Claire Chaffer, Senior Associate Director in the Carbon Consultancy division at Jacobs Engineering outlined the progress the industry is making in meeting its decarbonisation commitments.


Jacobs administers the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) for the Cold Chain Federation and for the last two years has been offering an energy benchmarking service for cold storage operations across the UK. More than 400 members participate in the project by reporting their energy usage and the innovative benchmarking tool allows them to monitor performance and compare their Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) to those of similar facilities.


Over the period 2021 to 2022, members continued to improve their energy efficiency. This helped the sector meet its latest CCA target. However, it only just met the mark and members are reporting that it is getting harder to continue driving efficiencies at the rate required. Many have already invested in low hanging fruits like LED lighting but say they are now struggling to take it to the next level.


Claire emphasised the importance of identifying new ways of reducing energy consumption. According to CCA, the UK cold storage industry uses 4 TWh of electricity a year, which is just over 1% of UK consumption and costs the sector an eye-watering £1.2bn. Claire encouraged members to investigate other carbon savings measures to gain a competitive edge and help the UK meet its Net Zero commitment.


Identifying energy saving opportunities


The P & M Group has positioned itself as a pioneer in providing the cold store sector with energy saving solutions. Our decades of experience and expertise means that we can guide operators on their decarbonisation journey, highlighting opportunities to secure carbon and cost savings.


Fred Weaver, National Sales Manager at ISD Solutions, also played a key role in the webinar by outlining the range of facilities services the group can offer in improving energy efficiency. He presented the value in having ISD complete an extensive survey and explained the benefits of gaining better insight into a facility’s energy performance.


ISD’s thermographic surveys interrogate every aspect of a coldstore facility, be it ceiling evaluations, suspensions systems or door speed. Fred explained how the team then produce a full report with recommendations and advice to drive efficiencies and improve performance. He emphasised how relatively simple steps in planned preventative maintenance can have major impacts on energy consumption, emissions and electricity bills.


Partner of choice


Joanne, who was crowned Cold Chain Climate Champion 2023 at the CCF’s inaugural Sustainability Awards, rounded up her presentation with a call to members to remain focused on meeting the CCA targets and explore new ways of driving efficiencies. She quoted Tom Southall, CCF Executive Director, who contributed to our trilogy series:


“With projections for populations and rising temperatures, demand for cold storage is set to continue, but the challenge will be to do so in a sustainable way.”


The P & M Group is passionate about playing its part in helping the industry use resources more efficiently. Talk to us about what we can do to support you in cutting costs and boosting the triple bottom line. 

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