IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CERN

SUSTAINABLE REFRIGERATION FOR LOW INCOME COMMUNITIES

For this project, we were challenged to apply a technology developed at CERN (the European Center for Nuclear Research and the creators of the large Hadron Collider), to create a service that would help meet the United Nation's sustainable development goals (SDG’s).

My team and I developed a sustainable refrigeration service aimed at enabling Less Economically Developed Countries to leapfrog the commonly used refrigeration techniques in the West which are inherently unsustainable. 

 

Problems Surrounding Refrigeration:

  • 45% of all fruit and veg perishes before it reaches consumers because of poor keeping conditions (UN study)

  • There is a massive lack of refrigeration infrastructure in LEDC's

  • Use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC’s) in conventional refrigeration methods which are compounds that can be up to 10 x more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas

  • HFC’s constantly leak from cooling equipment and escape into the atmosphere making them a direct cause of global warming that is used worldwide 

  • A cycle of decline occurs because the hotter it is, the more people cool and the more you cool, the hotter it gets. 

 

The Solution:

After spending 2 weeks in Geneva, immersing ourselves in the wonders of particle physics, my team and I came up with an innovative application for freshly developed solar panels from CERN. The solar panels could be used to harness energy from the sun in order to create a sustainable cooling system. Using the problem (heat) as part of the solution. 

 

We created a service that provided modular refrigeration units to low income communities in India. Communal unit space could be rented out in village markets for farmers to store their produce, or personal Coldboxes could be purchased if individuals or groups decided they wanted to own the product themselves. 

The Impact:

  • Coldbox elongates the shelf life of perishable goods enabling farmers to sell produce for longer and increase their income

  • The service's business model enabled low income individuals or groups to have access to life changing technology 

  • Positively worked towards many SDG's

  • The business model would benefit from economies of scale if it expanded across the globe; allowing more people to be served at a lower price

  • The service empowers some of the world’s most vulnerable communities whilst building resilience

  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions!

Tools:

  • Supply chain map

  • User journeys

  • Business model canvas

  • Personas

  • Service landscape map

Team Members:

Anna Schlimm

Neta Steingard

Davin David

07887524335

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