Trane Technologies empowers Indian street vendors with cooling carts

Trane Technologies

Trane Technologies is distributing cooling carts to street vendors in India as part of its 2030 Sustainability Commitments, developed under Operation Possible, an employee-powered social innovation program aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Trane Technologies, a worldwide climate pioneer, has made great strides towards promoting climate-friendly projects in India. In line with the company’s 2030 Sustainability Commitments, it has extended its support by distributing cooling carts at no cost to street vendors. These carts are part of expanding pilot programmes and testing taking place across the country, after the release of a pioneering prototype cooling cart system in September 2022. The mobile cooling device attempts to protect food from excessive heat while also assisting street sellers in reducing food waste and improving their livelihoods.

When developing the Cooling Cart, affordability and ease of use has been key throughout the development phase. Using the latest innovations in passive cooling technology, the revolutionary cooling cart not only effectively combats food loss but offers a solution to improve the lives of small-scale farmers, driving a step change in food systems by increasing the overall effectiveness of food management practices, particularly during the last mile delivery.

Globally, 30 percent of food production is lost or wasted, with 1.3 billion experiencing food insecurity. In India, up to one-third of food loss occurs through street vendors due to harsh weather conditions and lack of affordable cooling. This negatively impacts their income and quality of life, as many earn less than $5 a day and are sole family providers. The Cooling Cart system, which includes overnight storage, is expected to extend the shelf-life of fresh fruits and vegetables by 1-2 days, allowing street vendors to sell more food and increase their net income.

The prototype of the Cooling Cart has proven to be highly effective over the past two years, significantly extending the shelf life of perishable food. Following the initial launch in the municipality of Kolar, the pilot program has successfully been expanded to cover Karnataka, Maharashtra, Mangalore and Nigeria. A total of 15 carts were distributed to local street vendors, who provided positive feedback, highlighting the transformative potential of the Cooling Cart in effecting tangible changes.

Trane Technologies is partnering with academic institutions and Legislative Assembly members in Karnataka to promote the widespread adoption of its cooling solution. The initiative, in partnership with the Section Infin-8 Foundation, has been implemented with strong support from these MLAs, aiming to facilitate introductions to central government officials and streamline the company’s progress.

“We are truly thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with Trane Technologies in bringing this innovative solution to our community,” said Vishwas Uchila Shishir, Director Section Infin-8 Foundation, “The Cooling Cart initiative will not only enhance the efficiency of street vendors, but will also contribute to their overall well-being by enabling them to store and display their products in a more hygienic and convenient manner.”

Wilson Lawrence, Vice President & General Manager of India Engineering & Technology Center, Trane Technologies said, As we continue to scale up this transformative initiative, we are committed to advancing the design of the next-generation Cooling Cart to improve its user-friendliness, durability and cost-effectiveness. We are actively seeking partnerships with organisations like the UNDP and WFP to broaden our impact and reach more needy vendors, thereby significantly enhancing local community livelihoods.”

The Cooling Cart was developed under the company’s Operation Possible initiative, an employee-powered social innovation program to directly confront some of the world’s most pressing challenges, aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Shirin Salis, Vice President of Human Resources at Trane Technologies said, “Operation Possible is more than just an incubator for transformative ideas, it’s a catalyst for collaboratively addressing environmental, social and economic disparities. With a shared commitment to progress, the Cooling Cart initiative unites diverse and inclusive voices to drive meaningful changeIt has contributed to a culture of innovation and we’re proud to be counted amongst India’s 50 Best workplaces building a culture of Innovation by All; by the Great Place To Work® Institute.”

Trane Technologies has been a climate innovation for decades, committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible for a sustainable society. The corporation sets big 2030 Sustainability Commitments and is on track to develop new technology standards that improve human and environmental health.

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