Sustainability

Cold Food, Hot Planet: Panasonic Is on It

Overview The CES Tech Talk podcast, now in its sixth season, features interviews with industry experts who bring you an insider’s look at what to expect at CES 2023 in January. New episodes drop weekly; subscribe via your favorite podcast platform to get the latest updates. This week’s episode covers the seldom explored backstory of refrigeration and its negative climate effects. One Panasonic company, Hussmann, is tackling the issue with tech that counters greenhouse gasses while reducing food waste.

The refrigerated grocery cases that chill our food for peak freshness are no friend to the environment. Unless, that is, they’ve gotten smart through solutions provided by Hussmann Corporation, a division of Panasonic. Many consumers are entirely unaware that the grocery systems cooling our favorite foods are, ironically, heating our planet. Find out why that is, why we should care, and what Hussmann is doing about it. CEO Tim Figge explains in episode 5 of CES Tech Talk, Cooling Refrigeration’s Climate Impact, of the CES Tech Talk podcast series.
 

Takeaways

 
  • Commercial refrigeration systems represent a significant portion of supermarket energy consumption – at the same time, legacy systems emit high levels of greenhouse gases
     
  • Hussmann’s refrigerator case reduces energy consumption by 23% on an open-air case -- add doors to it, and energy consumption decreases by 70%
 
  • Hussmann Panasonic software monitors and manages commercial refrigeration systems – HVAC and refrigerator cases, included – to capture and assist in mitigating leaks, compressor failure and more
 
  • Digitized food labeling associated with fresh-food shelves is a key capability Hussmann brings to market to help minimize spoilage and food waste – for example, strawberries past peak freshness can be marked down immediately for a quick sale
     
  • On average each week, U.S. grocers change 25% of individual price tags on paper, or about 8500 tags per store – Hussmann’s digital technology eliminates the paper waste, and dramatically reduces the time and labor associated with paper tagging on store shelves
 

They Said It

So if you think about strawberries as they start aging, you can cut the price on those in half by automatically just changing the price through that digital price tag. It's immediate. That can really cut down on shrink and waste. A big part of a retailer's mindset around sustainability is food waste.

Tim Figge (00:00)

Our CES vision is all about how do we create today to enrich tomorrow…you'll see a little bit of everything around how our products impact society today…in a sustainable manner. Not only our refrigerants and sustainable refrigerants, but also some technology where we can predict…refrigerant leaks to eliminate [them from] going into the air…

Tim Figge (01:22)

Hussmann Panasonic at CES 2023


Look for the Hussmann division of Panasonic at booth 16317 where Panasonic is exhibiting in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. At the Hussmann section, sustainable refrigeration solutions can be explored, as well as a variety of technologies that help to, among other things, minimize food waste and spoilage.
 

Tim Figge, CEO


As CEO of Hussmann Corporation, a Panasonic company, Tim is responsible for leading the company’s delivery of the Hussmann Promise – a strategy based on providing operational excellence and customer-focused solutions in the food retailing industry. Prior to joining Hussmann in 2002, Tim held senior-level positions in finance, sales and branch operations for companies including Trane and Thermo King. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Missouri.

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