Sunday, 10th December 2023 marked a pivotal moment in the maritime industry as the Greener Reefers Alliance set sail, paving the way for a more sustainable future in shipping.
Over 1.5 million refrigerated containers (reefers) are used for the international transport of chilled (e.g. fruit and medicines) and frozen products (e.g. meat and fish) across the oceans to billions of customers every day. The current reefer fleet uses refrigerants with high global warming impact, toxic “forever chemicals and have high energy demand. The use of natural refrigerants, better design and optimising operations have the potential to significantly reduce the climate and environmental impact of this fast-growing sector.
Kühne Foundation and the Greener Reefers project are the founding members of the Greener Reefers Alliance to bring together frontrunners to demonstrate climate and environmentally friendly alternatives for refrigerated maritime containers, addressing the pressing need for sustainable practices in the rapidly growing reefer sector. The Greener Reefers project is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection under the International Climate Initiative (IKI).
"As founding member of the Greener Reefers Alliance, the Kühne Foundation is committed to driving innovation and sustainability in the reefer industry”, said Otto Schacht, Kühne Foundation. “Together, we can make a significant impact on reducing emissions and making international trade more sustainable."
Project manager Philipp Denzinger of Greener Reefers said: "Today, we embark on a journey toward a sustainable maritime industry. The Greener Reefers Alliance is a collaborative effort to address the environmental and climate impact of reefers, and we are thrilled to start this important journey together with Kühne Foundation and we are looking forward to collaborating with more actors from the shipping industry.”
What is the aim of the Greener Reefers Alliance?
Reefers are essential for global trade in chilled and frozen products; however, they contribute significantly to emissions in the container shipping industry. The Greener Reefers Alliance, a collaborative initiative, aims to tackle this challenge by promoting environmentally sustainable and climate friendly alternatives and enhancing energy efficiency within the sector. By bringing together industry frontrunners, innovators, and stakeholders, the Alliance aims to establish an enabling environment for the adoption of Greener Reefers, contributing to a more sustainable future for global shipping. The Alliance contributes to the implementation of the International Maritime Organization's GHG emissions reduction strategy and the Paris Agreement’s objectives.
About the Kühne Foundation:
Established in 1976 and based in Switzerland, the Kühne Foundation’s areas of work include culture, medicine, logistics education, humanitarian logistics, and climate action. The Foundation is independent, operational, international, and solutions-oriented. The Kühne Foundation´s work on Climate Action aims to help decouple growth in prosperity from greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the transition to a just, low-carbon, global society. They work on solutions for reducing emissions, removing carbon, and strengthening resilience. The Foundation puts a focus on the role that logistics can play to facilitate the transition; and it deploys its capacities to particularly support low- and middle-income countries to seize the opportunities of low-carbon and sustainable development.