The following report — “Evaluating the Philippines’ Food Cold Chain, Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact” — is based on desk-based research conducted by the Cold Chain Innovation Hub for the “Global Partnership for Improving the Food Cold Chain in the Philippines” project.
The report has been divided into three parts and reproduced below.
- Part 1: Evaluating the Food Cold Chain in the Philippines
- Part 2: Clean Food Cold Chain Alternatives
- Part 3: Measuring Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact
Download the full report PDF here.
Measuring Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact
The following are different energy efficiency and environmental impact monitoring and analysis methodologies sourced from research papers and case studies considered to be best practice globally.
The facilities to be analyzed are as follows:
- Packhouse (TBC)
- Transport refrigeration unit (TBC)
- Cold storage warehouse
- Convenience store (TBC)
- Restaurant (TBC)
- The cold chain as a whole (TBC)
Cold Storage Warehouses
Several studies have shown that within cold storage facilities, typically 60–70% of the electrical energy may be used for refrigeration.
In the United States, one study conducted by an energy efficiency organization in 2016 found typical energy use for cold storage facilities to be broken down as in the chart on the right.
Cold storage facilities can generally be categorized into three main categories:
|-1°C to -10°C
|Those with both chilled and frozen rooms operating from a common refrigeration system.
The cold storage industry can be extremely diverse consisting of facilities of 10–20 m3 up to large warehouses of hundreds of thousands of cubic meters.
Specific Energy Consumption
Specific Energy Consumption (commonly referred to as SEC) is currently the most widely used metric in the cold storage industry to benchmark and compare the energy performance of a given cold storage facility relative to other cold storage facilities in the industry.
It is defined as the amount of total electricity consumed (kWh) per cubic meter of facility size (m3) per year (or per annum commonly notated as “a”).
SEC = kWh/m3/a
SEC best practice
In a study conducted by Andy Pearson of UK-based Star Refrigeration, presented at The 25th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration in August of 2019, a best practice curve for modern cold storage facilities based on the SEC metric was proposed.
The curve is based on actual electrical usage for 21 cold storage sites in the UK where all were “managed under a common maintenance regime with a strong focus on energy performance and continuous improvement.”
For reference, the following SEC figures can be obtained from this standard.
|Best practice SEC figures for typical cold storage facilities
While SEC is widely considered to be the best baseline metric to use to compare the energy efficiency of cold storage facilities currently, there are a number of significant factors that are not taken into account.
- Building utilization
- Building fabric condition
- Building and process management
- Refrigeration plant condition
- Other compensating factors
In addition, alternative methods of measuring not only the energy efficiency of a facility, but the efficiency of the facility as a whole are also available. These methods are all based on the general principle of efficiency being equal to benefit being divided by cost. Some of these include:
General facility usage: Operating output divided by required input
Equipment specific: Cooling capacity divided by electrical input
Building as a whole: Product throughput divided by cost of operation
SEC significant past studies
Current best practice is built upon significant studies employing the SEC metric conducted over the past twenty five years. The following is a list of these studies in chronological order.
|Original publishing date
|Name of study
|ETSU, 1994. Energy Consumption Guide 37: Cold Storage Sector. Energy Efficiency Office, Department of the Environment, Harwell, United Kingdom
|Bosma, J. 1995. Inventory study of the energy conservation potential in cold storage installations in the Netherlands. Proc. 19th International Congress of Refrigeration, The Hague vol II, IIF/IIR
|Duiven, J. E and Binard, P. 2002. Refrigerated storage: new developments. IIR Bulletin – 2002-2.
|Evans, J.A. Huet, J-M. Reinholdt, L. Fikiin, K. Zilio, C. Houska, M. Landfeld, A. Bond, C. Scheurs, M. and van Sambeeck, T.W.M., 2013. Cold Store Energy Performance, Proceedings of the 2nd IIR Conference on the Cold Chain and Sustainability, Paris, IIF/IIR
|Also known as the ICE-E study. This study was extended and updated by Evans et al in 2015, with 44% more data. See below.
|Evans, J.A. Foster, A. Huet, J-M. Reinholdt, L. Fikiin, K. Zilio, C. Houska, M. Landfeld, A. Bond, C. Scheurs, M. and van Sambeeck, T.W.M., 2015. Specific Energy Consumption Values for Various Refrigerated Food Cold Stores, Proceedings of the 24th IIR Congress, Yokohama, IIF/IIR
Example SEC Case Study: Comparing energy efficiency of a plant retrofit in Australia
In a technical paper from Australia-based industrial refrigeration system installer Scantec Refrigeration Technologies, the energy efficiency of two different refrigeration systems, retrofitted at a single cold storage facility in Mackay, North Queensland, Australia were analyzed using the SEC method.
Source: Stefan S. Jensen, Scantec Refrigeration Technologies, 2019, “Real energy efficiency of DX NH3 versus HFC”, The 25th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The original system as an HFC-based refrigeration system which was decommissioned in 2015. The owners of the facility discussed replacing the old HFC-based system with a “new, more energy efficient central refrigeration system”, the paper states. The installation of the new system was completed in August 2018.
The refrigerant used in the low temperature segment was R404A. The refrigerant used in the medium temperature segment was unknown but believed to be R22.
The new system was a direct expansion (DX) ammonia (NH3) based system. There was a low NH3 inventory in the refrigeration plant. It included a dry expansion refrigerant feed for the low temperature freezer evaporators and a propylene glycol loop for the medium temperature services.
Energy data collection limitations
Certain limitations in the collection of energy data were noted in the paper. Energy consumption records for the old HFC system were provided by the energy retailer, Ergon Energy. The energy consumption records for that plant included auxiliary consumers such as general light and power, office air conditioning and forklift charging.
For the NH3 system, the energy consumption was recorded via the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. It therefore represented the energy consumption of the refrigeration plant only.
The following SECs were calculated for the two systems.
|December 2009 to January 2015
|DX NH3 System
|October 2018 to January 2019
Therefore, there was a recorded SEC reduction of around 57% by replacing the industry standard HFC based systems with a central, low charge NH3 plant in this study. A number of other factors were considered in the study such as the economics of the system’s cost to the end user, as well as considerations for ambient temperatures, building fabric, subfloor heating, etc.
For the full case study, refer to “Real energy efficiency of DX NH3 versus HFC”, presented by Stefan S. Jensen of Scantec Refrigeration Technologies at the 25th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in August of 2019.
The term “supermarkets” is often used as a generic term referring to the category of commercial retail businesses where food is the majority of the product mix.
These stores are generally accepted to fall into four major categories characterized mainly by the size of the sales area in square meters (m2).
|5,000 m2 to over 10,000 m2
|1,400 m2 to 5,000 m2
|Supermarkets (mid-range stores)
|280 m2 to 1,400 m2
|less than 280 m2
It is generally acknowledged that refrigeration accounts for 30-60% of a supermarket’s energy bill, resulting in the highest energy consumption related to other systems.
Source: Minetto S., Marinetti S., Saglia P., Masson N., Rossetti A., 2017. Non-technological barriers to the diffusion of energy-efficient HVAC&R solutions in the food retail sector. International Journal of Refrigeration 86 (2018) 422-434
Several industry studies and surveys from Europe and the United States generally correspond to the following typical breakdown of energy use of a supermarket shown below.
- DTE Energy’s Energy Efficiency Program for Business, 2015 Energy Profile, via industry averages reported by U.S. Energy Information Administration
- “Benchmarking Analysis of Energy Consumption in Supermarkets”, October 2016, Lelde Timma, Roberts Skudritis, Dagnija Blumberga, Institute of Energy Systems and Environment, Riga Technical University
- S.A. Tassou, Y. Ge, A. Hadawey, D. Marriott. Energy Consumption And Conservation In Food Retailing. Applied Thermal Engineering, Elsevier, 2010, 31 (2-3), pp.147. 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2010.08.023. hal-00692330
Electrical Energy Intensity
As expected, energy consumption of supermarkets can very widely depending on a number of factors including business practices, store format, product mix, shopping activity, ambient temperatures, indoor temperatures and humidity conditions, the equipment used for in-store food preparation, preservation and display, etc.
Studies have also shown that a large amount of variability exists in the energy use of these stores even within the same store category and the same retail food chain.
The most widely used performance indicator for energy use in the supermarket sector is “electrical energy intensity”. This metric is defined as the amount of electrical energy consumed per year per square meter of sales area (kWh/m2/year).
A number of studies have been conducted in Europe and the US benchmarking energy use for various supermarkets in the regions. One study conducted in the UK in 2011 concluded: “The electrical energy consumption can vary widely from around 700 kWh/m2 sales area per year in hypermarkets to over 2000 kWh/m2 sales area per year in convenience stores.”
The following is a summary of key energy use benchmarks found from that study (energy consumption data sourced from a sample of 2,570 retail food stores from a number of major retail food chains in the UK in 2010):
|Sales area (m2)
|Average electrical energy intensity
|Medium sized stores
|Large sized stores
In another study conducted in 2013 on yearly energy consumption collected from 150 supermarkets in the Netherlands (all from the same supermarket chain), the resulting regression coefficient of yearly electrical energy consumption on sales area was 407.45 kWh/m2/year.
In another report conducted by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme (K-CEP) in 2018, assembled by shecco, analyzing energy efficiency guidelines for HFC-free commercial refrigeration, the following average annual electrical energy intensity figures for supermarkets were observed.
Average electrical energy intensity for supermarkets in different regions
|Average supermarket electrical energy intensity
|Energy Star, 2014
|Tassou et al., 2011
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
In 1998, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol initiative resulting in what is now internationally recognized as one of the main standards for corporate carbon reporting.
To date, a number of the world’s largest companies in the food retail sector have adopted this protocol as a standard for calculating and reporting their yearly carbon footprints.
Broadly, under the protocol, emissions fall into one of three categories or “scopes”.
|Direct emissions from owned or controlled sources
|Indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy
|All indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions.
Philippine GHG Inventory and Reporting Protocol
The Philippines Climate Change Commission, which reports to the Office of the President, published its “Philippine GHG Inventory and Reporting Protocol: Manual for Business” in 2017.
The report states that in order “to prevent the double counting of emissions and compliance with international standards, this reporting protocol harmonizes the best features of available standards worldwide.”
It is largely based on “The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard” document referenced above. As an example, several of the Philippines largest conglomerates have adopted the reporting protocol into their sustainability reports. Two examples are listed below.
Ayala Corporation is the oldest and one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines with core interests in real estate, banking, telecommunications, and power.
Ayala Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2018
|Scope 1 Direct Energy Emissions
|-Thermal Power Generation
|1.6 million t-CO2e
|Scope 2 Indirect Energy Emissions
|-Electricity Function of Facilities
|0.43 million t-CO2e
|Scope 3 Other Indirect Emissions
-Electricity Consumption of Tenants
-Desludging of Septic Tanks
|2.6 million t-CO2e
SM Investments Corporation
SM Investments Corporation (SMIC) is a Philippine conglomerate with interests in shopping mall development and management, retail, real estate development, banking, and tourism. SM Markets, a chain of food retail stores consisting of SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket and Savemore are a subsidiary under SMIC.
In SM Investments Corporation’s 2017 Sustainability Report, the company indicates that it calculates its GHG emissions “using the equity share approach according to The Greenhouse Gas Protocol”. An excerpt of figures provided is shown below:
SM Investments Corporation 2017 GHG Emissions Summary
|Scope 1 Direct GHG Emissions
|Scope 2 Indirect GHG Emissions
|Scope 3 Other Indirect GHG Emissions
|3.1 million t-CO2e
International GHG Emissions Benchmarks
Several examples of leading multinational food retailers which have adopted the Greenhouse Gas Protocol are listed below:
Metro AG is a large German Multinational Food Retailer. It uses the Greenhouse Gas Protocol to measure key performance indicators for its facilities in terms of energy use and carbon emissions. Below is an excerpt from its 2017/18 Corporate Responsibility Report.
|in t CO2 (CO2 equivalents)
|Reference year 2011
|Scope 1 – direct greenhouse gas emissions
|Scope 2 – indirect greenhouse gas emissions
|Scope 3 – other indirect greenhouse gas emissions
|Total greenhouse gas emissions
Definitions: Level of all main emissions by Scope in line with the methodology of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
The following sources of emissions are included:
- Scope 1 = fuel oil, natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), refrigerant losses from commercial cooling, refrigerant losses from air-conditioning, fuel consumption of company cars and the group’s own logistics fleet, emergency power generators
- Scope 2 = electricity consumption, district heating and cooling
- Scope 3 = external logistics for the transport of goods to our stores and warehouses, in-house paper consumption for advertising and office purposes, business trips, goods and services purchased for own use, capital assets, upstream chain emissions and grid losses for all direct and indirect energy sources, waste, employee commutes, leased assets
US-based wholesaler Costco tracks its carbon emissions according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Reporting Standard.
The company’s goal is to “to work toward maintaining our carbon footprint growth to less than our company sales growth.” This goal was achieved in its 2018 reporting period as summarized by the company below:
Costco’s Carbon Footprint Summary (2016-2018)
|Sales (in thousands)
|tCO2e (tons of carbon dioxide emitted)
|tCO2e % Increase (over prior year)
|Sales % Increase (over prior year)
|Total in Covered Regions in 2016
|Total in Covered Regions in 2017
|Total in Covered Regions in 2018
This includes Scope 1 and Scope 2 as defined by the company below:
- Scope 1: Direct Emissions include all natural gas and propane provided to owned or controlled facilities used for heating or food processing and manufacturing. Included in direct emissions are diesel used by Costco’s truck fleets, refrigerated trailers and yard haulers; propane to power mobile floor scrubbers; jet fuel for corporate jets and fugitive emissions from leakage of HFC refrigerants from refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.
- Scope 2: Indirect Emissions are for purchased electricity and are the largest component of GHG emissions.
Japanese convenience store operator Family Mart measures its carbon emissions according to Japan’s Ministry of Environment guidelines, which are also based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
Source: “Basic Guidelines on Accounting for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Throughout the Supply Chain Ver. 1.0”, March 2012, Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Government of Japan
The following is a summary of the company’s 2017 emissions according to its website.
- Scope 1: Direct emissions of greenhouse gases, such as through the use of fuel in the business’ own operations (e.g.: gasoline used by company-owned vehicles)
- Scope 2: Indirect emissions of greenhouse gases, such as through the use of electricity provided by other companies (e.g.: electricity used at the head office, offices, and stores)
- Scope 3: Indirect emissions of greenhouse gases as a result of business activities that do not fall under Scopes 1 or 2
|CO2 Emissions Quantity (t-CO2)
|Category 1 Procured products and services
|Category 2 Capital goods
|Category 3 Fuel and energy related activities not included in Scopes 1 and 2
|Category 4 Shipping and delivery (upstream)
|Category 5 Waste from operations
|Category 6 Business trips
|Category 7 Employee commutes
|Category 11 Use of sold products
|Category 12 Disposal of sold products
In addition, Family Mart also employs third party verification of its results. Verification is conducted by the Japan Audit and Certification Organization for Environment and Quality (JACO). Below are screenshot examples of its independent verification reports for its 2017 emissions.
Return to Part 1: Evaluating the Food Cold Chain in the Philippines or download the full report PDF here.