Latest news

February 2023

Winner of the 2023 Beyond Refrigeration Environmental Award Announced at the IOR Annual Dinner

"True Circular Economy for the Cooling Industry" by Sustain has been announced as the winner of the inaugural Beyond Refrigeration Environmental Award.  

Sustain’s approach provides a game-changing solution to the management of ageing commercial refrigeration assets to ensure Zero to landfill by focusing on the reuse of parts from waste, repairing for reuse, repurposing the foam to avoid incineration, and ensuring recycling routes offer true circular economy.  Their end-to-end process is making a significant impact in reducing carbon emissions and VOCs from foam incineration, from their own processing that uses renewable resources and from their sustainable process for reusable steel re-manufacturing. The approach has helped to save 12,897 tonnes CO2 emissions over the past 12 months, returned 156,302 kW of energy to the National Grid from the Waste Plant and diverted an estimated 4,704 tonnes of industry waste from landfill by dismantling and recycling over 17,000 refrigeration cabinets.

 “Reaching Net Zero with Cooling Data" entered by Tesco, Star Refrigeration and Star Data Analytics received a special mention as it was highly commended by the judging panel. This project has achieved energy reductions and maximised efficiency across their distribution centre estate through the installation of Star Data Analytics “Ethos” solution. It uses real-time data collection and AI technology to identify and implement improvements through intelligent use of data, predictive analytics, strategic asset management and the use of the latest technology.  It has helped Tesco achieve a 10% energy saving and a reduction of 835 tonnes of CO2 emissions over the past 21 months with a return on investment of just under three months. The project sets a precedent for how data and technology can be leveraged for sustainable operation. 

If you are interested in entering a project or product for the 2024 Beyond Refrigeration Environmental Award click here for more information. 


December 2023

A policy brief (6) on district heating and zoning has been published.  The more widespread adoption of district heating and the appropriate zoning policies and legislation is anticipated.  Experience from other countries has shown that the leadership of Cities and Central Government are key in driving the significant levels of investment into neighbourhoods required -the risk is that a patchwork of schemes with limited city-wide reach could be introduced and lead to higher costs, drawing power from more expensive sources. The key factors involved in developing effective district heat networks include overall cost, integration with existing energy systems or waste heat networks, thermal storage to balance demand to availability and electrical network capacity. Available from Publications area


October 2023

TICR Talks - talking about net zero refrigeration and emissions reduction opportunities, technologies and drivers.  Over the next few months we will be hosting short free webinars to discuss about emissions reduction opportunities and challenges of net zero cooling. This series of 45-minute interactive events will be led by sector experts and will share some of the initial findings and work-in-progress of research and site investigations from the DESNZ-funded investigation into real energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.  Each event will focus on a key sector for which refrigeration and cooling is critical. Register at  or 


October 2023

IOR launches Beyond Refrigeration Environment Award. The IOR is delighted to announce a new Award that will be made annually to a project that demonstrates the achievements of our sector in reducing environmental emissions from cooling in the UK. The introduction of this award supports one of the most important priorities for IOR members – to address the challenges of net zero as well as facilitating the sharing of innovation, raising awareness of best practice and promoting the advancement of technology for the good of society.  Not only will the winning project, company and team be recognised before their peers at the IOR Annual Dinner each year, they will be invited to give a technical paper on the IOR written papers programme to ensure that awareness of innovative and successful solutions is maximised. The award is linked to the practical application of the IOR’s Beyond Refrigeration priorities that are aimed at supporting the sector towards net zero. The award is open to companies or a collaboration between companies. Entries can be for a single or multi-site innovation or project in any refrigeration, air conditioning or heat pump field (industrial, commercial or domestic). The project must have been installed and must be operational. Entries must provide robust data on performance, energy usage and environmental impact. It is anticipated that a successful project will address at least four of the seven critical areas for addressing climate change as outlined in the IOR’s Beyond Refrigeration template.  Find out about the award at 


September 2023

The 2023  Parliament Environment Audit Committee inquiry that closed on 17th August 2023 focussed on the issues of the relationship between heat and health, Government policies in relation to current and future need for cooling and what measures could be taken to increase adaptation and resilience to rising temperatures - sustainable cooling solutions and adaptation strategies that minimise overheating, reduce energy consumption and prevent overloading the electricity grid.   MPs are aiming to understand how communities can better adapt to increased temperatures without relying on energy-intensive solutions, such as air conditioning units.  The IOR submitted a response drafted by members of our Beyond Refrigeration Environment Committee and Technical Committees that highlighted the importance of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps technologies to address overheating, energy management and emissions reduction matters.   The IOR response has been published on the Environment Audit Committee website at 


January 2023

The IOR is now a partner in a major research project to identify carbon emissions from the refrigeration sector and provide guidance on how to improve system operation as well as benchmarks and roadmaps to net zero. The project focuses on the Transport, Industrial, Commercial Refrigeration sectors. Find out more about this project being led by LSBU at There will be many opportunities to contribute to research, review findings and use results for IOR members and others. 

September 2022

Policy briefs are now available on


August 2022

This years annual conference on 1st December will focus on the theme of "Beyond Refrigeration - next steps on the journey to net zero", with speakers providing case studies and overviews of opportunities for our sector and a series of interactive debates and discussions to explore progress on these themes in more detail. Find out more at


March 2022

A draft Specification on Skills for Net zero has been published for consultation with members and others including end users and training specialists. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on the additional skills, knowledge and behaviour required of end users, designers and technicians to support the move to net zero heating and cooling.  Please comment by 21st April 2022.


March 2022

acrawardslogoThe IOR's Beyond Refrigeration was awarded Environmental Initiative of the Year at the ACR News 2022 Awards ceremony




January 2022

A third Policy Brief on "Refrigerant Selection" with recommendations for policymakers showing legislative, regulatory and financial incentives that would support Net Zero heating and cooling has been issued as a draft for comment.  Additional items are being prepared to cover: Heat Networks and Refrigerant Containment.


November 2021

The first set of Policy Briefs with recommendations for policymakers showing legislative, regulatory and financial incentives that would support Net Zero heating and cooling have been published:

1- Integration of Heating and Cooling

2-Skills for Net Zero


July 2021

The Beyond Refrigeration Template for steps to Net Zero for equipment users was published, and a summary circulated to all IOR members with the summer newsletter.  

The Beyond Refrigeration Working Groups meet on zoom in July during World Refrigeration Week celebrations.  The breakout discussions  were themed around these Action Areas covering all or some of the eight themes from the template:

  • Developing Good Practice Guidance Notes - eg on Maintenance for Efficiency, Skills, Working across functions, Systems settings and set points. What topics should be addressed and who has the information to include?
  • Communications campaign messaging – agree on priority sectors and relevant messaging/issues and consider how to communicate externally with NGOs or schools
  • Setting up Databases of existing Case studies, Benchmarking, Resources and Tools – what should be included and how it could be made easily accessible
  • Topics for Technology Briefs – prioritising topics to link to 8 themes, principles of independent evaluation, identifying experts
  • Drafting a Policy Paper to influence legislators/incentives/skills/energy suppliers – decide who target audience are, which legislative areas are most relevant, consider policy options
  • Setting up an Umbrella group for organisations / stakeholders to work together – who and how
  • CPD training on efficiency – key topics, target groups and mechanisms for delivery


19th May Working Group meeting notes

Feedback  and notes from the meeting

Introductory Slides from  Prof Graeme Maidment FInstR, chairing


21-22 April Annual Conference - Beyond Refrigeration

The IOR Annual Conference on 21-22 April 2021 provided a starting point by publishing case studies, running workshops and holding discussions on the seven Beyond Refrigeration topics shown in the diagram. Find out more about the Conference here.