Trane Technologies develops Cooling Cart for food vendors to reduce wastage

  • Industry News
  • Sep 24,22
The cooling cart - developed under Trane's Operation Possible initiative - can save up to 25% of food loss in the marketplace. The solution was developed in partnership with Cambridge Institute of Technology
Trane Technologies develops Cooling Cart for food vendors to reduce   wastage

Bengaluru

Trane Technologies, a global climate innovator, has developed a prototype of a low-cost Cooling Cart system with a retrofittable canopy that leverages the latest innovations in passive cooling technology. It can protect food from excess heat while helping street vendors with the reduction in food wastage and improved livelihood.

The cooling cart was developed under the company’s Operation Possible initiative, an employee-powered social innovation program. A design sprint team including employees from India, China, Vietnam, Belgium and North America took a bold new step in pursuit of innovation – to directly confront some of the world’s biggest challenges, aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

With the development of the Cooling Cart, Trane Technologies explored low- and high-tech ideas that could transform the lives of smallholder farmers and small-scale livestock producers, reach a step change in food systems or increase the overall effectiveness of food management practices on the last mile delivery side of the food supply chain. Affordability and ease of use has been key throughout the development phase.

In many regions of India, up to one third of food loss occurs through street vendors, due to harsh weather conditions and lack of access to affordable cooling. This food loss has a significant negative impact on vendors’ income and quality of life. Many of them earn less than $5 a day. With this Cooling Cart system, which includes an overnight storage capability, it is expected that the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables will be extended by at least 1-2 days without significant weight loss. This means that street vendors will be able to sell more food as opposed to throwing it away, thus also increasing their net income.

Wilson Lawrence, Vice President & General Manager, India Engineering & Technology Center, Trane Technologies, said, “India, despite being an agrarian economy struggle with food loss and waste alongside widespread hunger. This contradiction of hunger and rampant food loss and waste is exactly why we made Cooling Cart as our first challenge of Operation Possible. We are working to do our part – using our collective intelligence, years of experience, and our passion, to find new solutions and pathways to ensure more people get the life-sustaining nourishment they need and deserve, while reducing the impact on our planet”

Operation Possible is an employee-powered innovation platform where Trane’s employee help define the most pressing and persistent environmental, social and economic problems they want to address. Through exchange and collaboration, employees contribute, incubate and co-develop ideas for technology and solutions that can help close the gap or solve the problem.

Nithin Mohan, CEO, Cambridge Institute of Technology, “We are excited to be a part of this great initiative by Trane Technologies. Our students were able to engage in the first hand-sessions of the first chapter of Operation Possible, where they help company identify and tackled ground-level challenges. Our students are looking forward to being a part of more such initiatives where they help resolve real world challenges.”

The canopy utilised in a Cooling Cart is an innovative radiative cooling technology which resembles a reflective film. It is extremely light and completely passive in nature, requiring no electricity to operate. The canopy itself includes a mechanical system which allows the height to be adjusted. It can be fully retracted and secured to double as an overnight storage container. It can provide a temperature difference of up to 10 degrees Celsius.

Driven by purpose and a commitment to make the world a better place – Trane Technologies employees from all over the world share and collaborate on ideas that help tackle some of the global challenges which align with the company’s purpose, as well as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Shirin Salis, Vice President of Human Resource, Trane Technologies, said, “As an open innovation and employee-driven program, Operation Possible uses formats that are naturally inclusive and embrace diversity. At each stage of ideation, employees can connect, collaborate and build on each other’s ideas on an online platform. Interactive jam sessions bring together people from a full range of roles, functions, seniority, and geographies, showcasing the power of our people to make better happen.”

For decades, Trane Technologies has been a climate innovator with the commitment to boldly challenge what’s possible for a sustainable world. The company makes bold 2030 sustainability commitments - and have consistently set a path toward new standards for technology that enhance the health and wellbeing of people and the planet.

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