There are numerous benefits of cooling, many of which align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Even in relatively moderate climates, such as in most of the EU, it would be impossible to support a modern urban economy without cooling systems. Some of the benefits include:
Health and well-being in the built environment: Europeans spend 90% of their time indoors and 80% will live in urban areasby 2050¹
Work force productivity: cooling can improve productivityby 15%²
Reduced food loss and food waste: A robust cold chain can significantly reduce the loss of food caused by spoilage between food production and food retail. In developing countries, more widespread use of residential refrigeration can significantly reduce the waste of food at the point of use. Current levels of food loss and waste are estimated to be around 20% of all food produced³. This creates significant GHG emissions which can be avoided by improving the food cold chain.
Improved healthcare:Around 50% of medicines are heat sensitive and require a robust cold chain to avoid wastage and dangerous degradation of products⁴. Many types of sophisticated medical equipment (such as scanners) require cooling and cooling is crucial for blood and tissue storage.
Affordable and sustainable energy: The increased use of renewable energy sources comes with challenges to balance the electricity supply and demand. Cooling, as well as heating by heat pumps can provide solutions to optimise the balance, for example by demand shifting controls as well as storing energy (cold and hot storage, also called “thermal” storage batteries).
¹Healthy Homes Barometer 2018 and Standard Eurobarometer, ²Healthy Homes Barometer 2018, ³The fight against food waste, Fusions, ⁴IIR Heat sensitive health products