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Sustainable Cooling Innovation Retail Cold Chains

TechEmerge is teaming up with cutting-edge innovators across the world and leading companies in emerging markets to build energy-efficient, affordable, climate-smart retail cold chains, stretching from farm to table.

Why retail cold chains? Gaps and inefficiencies in cold chains are a major development issue worldwide – contributing to food waste and driving up costs for consumers, farmers, and businesses.



of all food is wasted

Each year


trillion in food is lost & wasted

In addition, cooling accounts for 15% of the energy used worldwide and 10% of greenhouse gases – underscoring the need for climate-smart retail cold chain solutions.


Our adopters are leading e-commerce and online grocery companies in South Asia.

logo of BigBasket
BigBasket is India’s largest online food grocery seller, offering services in more than 20 cities in India.


logo of chaldal
is the largest online grocery company in Bangladesh, serving four of the country's largest cities.

Market Context

India is one of the fastest growing cooling markets in the world, and demand for affordable, energy-efficient technologies that meet the retail cold chain needs of the country’s booming e-grocery market is expanding rapidly. According to RedSeer Consulting, India’s e-grocery sector will grow from $1.9 billion in 2019 to $18 billion by 2024, while market analysis from Grandview Research estimates a compound annual growth rate of 37.1 percent will see market revenue will reach $38.9 by 2028.

COVID-19 lockdowns and transmission fears have been significant factors in this growth, with millions of customers in India embracing online payment mediums to take advantage of same-day delivery, low delivery charges, and flexible return policies offered by all key e-grocery players. The sector’s low margins, complex supply chains, and rapid growth will require tens of billions of dollars of investment in coming years. The e-grocery market in neighboring Bangladesh is also reported to be experiencing double digit growth, with new players entering the market as a result of COVID-19-driven demand.

In regard to cooling infrastructure, over roughly the next 20 years, commercial and domestic demand for refrigeration is expected to quadruple in India to 2,400,000 TR, according to the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP). ICAP also forecasts that energy required to keep produce fresh at warehouses will increase almost fifty-fold from 22,000 MWh to 5.2 TWh, while the number of temperature-controlled reefer trucks will grow from approximated 15,000 in 2018 to 400,000 in 2038.

Current & completed pilots

GreenCHILL Refrigeration System. In this pilot, Indian innovator New Leaf Dynamic Technologies partnered with the country’s largest online grocery, BigBasket, to field test a GreenCHILL refrigeration system that uses a natural refrigerant with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Pelletized cashew nut shells and waste husks from a BigBasket coconut processing factory provided biomass fuel for the GreenCHILL unit.  Learn more
BigBasket Modular Cold Racks. In this pilot, India’s largest online grocer, BigBasket, piloted its own plug-and-play modular cold rack system using widely-available phase change material (PCM) inserts. The pilot aimed to compartmentalize a large walk-in cold room for multiple uses by desired temperature range and demand – tackling one of the biggest design issues that make cold rooms so inefficient and costly to run. Learn more

Advisor Network

This program is supported by a network of advisors with vast experience in assessing cooling technologies across the world and promoting sustainable investments in emerging markets.