Kentmaster New Zealand at Meatstock Hamilton
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages

Sustainability in Freezing Works: A Guide

March 29, 2024

Ever heard about Freezing Works? Well, these facilities are the ones responsible for the preservation and storage of food products. For people outside of New Zealand, they are commonly referred to as slaughterhouses. 

While they are quite important for the food industry, the activities conducted there have a very high environmental Impact since they are quite energy-demanding. 

Because of that, Freezing Works sustainability is the subject of great debates, including the use of Green Practices by the industry not to let it completely destroy the environment.

Understanding the Environmental Impact

It’s hard in any era to have an industry that is completely green, but the meat processing industry has been facing pressure for years to cut methane and other emissions.  

So, in this article, we are pleased to talk about the challenges that the industry creates from its practices and what solutions are currently on the table or being worked on, so let’s dive in.

The environmental footprint of freezing works includes:

  • Energy Consumption Freezing works run numerous heavy-duty machinery throughout the premises so it is of no surprise to see this section. 
  • Refrigerant Emissions – Unfortunately, we have known for a long time that coolant is not eco-friendly. With Freezing works needing to run a lot of cooling machinery, it would be difficult not to be doing damage.
  •  Water Usage – Another vital commodity needed in freezing works. It is needed for varying cleaning and processing jobs and is priceless in preventing contamination and disease. However, freezing works would create large volumes of wastewater. 
  •  Waste Generation – Packaging materials and food waste will be added to the amount sent to landfills or sent more into the environment.
  • Water Use and Loss – Chemicals may be applied or released into the water system during food processing and manufacturing, which can lead to water contamination.

Implementing Green Practices

To address these challenges, freezing works are adopting a range of green practices:

  • Energy Efficiency– The system in place in many freezing works in the country is a replacement for energy-efficient machinery
  • Alternative Refrigerants – Refrigeration units now come with eco-friendly options. Before price of these were high, which put owners off, but now they are affordable many have already converted over.
  • Water Management – Firstly, monitoring water usage levels an seeing where savings could be made before the need to implement anything.  However, after water-cutting measures, others have been engaged in implementing water recycling schemes. 
  • Waste Reduction – The use of composting has been around for a while, but now it has become mainstream. This is another way to reduce waste, and many freezing works now have wide-ranging recycling programs in place. 

Sustainability: The Strategic Approach

Developing a sustainability strategy for freezing works involves several key steps:

  • Assessment – Conducting a thorough environmental impact assessment to identify key areas for improvement.
  • Planning – Setting clear sustainability goals and objectives that are aligned with broader industry standards and regulations.
  • Implementation – Applying technological innovations and process improvements to achieve the set goals.
  • Monitoring – Continuously monitor progress and make adjustments to ensure ongoing improvement.

Challenges and Opportunities

The road to sustainability is hard, with often expensive capital expenditures that momentarily bring operations to a grinding halt. But it is also full of opportunities:

  • Cost Savings – Long-term energy and water savings can lead to reduced operational costs.
  • Regulatory Compliance – Meeting or exceeding environmental regulations can avoid penalties and improve market positioning.
  • Brand Enhancement – Demonstrating environmental responsibility can strengthen brand reputation and customer loyalty.
  • Innovation Leadership – Leading the way in green practices can make a company an industry pioneer.

Sustainability Laws for Freezing Works in NZ

In New Zealand, freezing works and other industries are subject to many sustainability and eco-friendly acts of legislation that are in place to reduce the environmental impact and promote sustainable practices. Here are some of the legislation acts:

  • Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) – New  Zealand’s primary legislation affecting the ‘sustainable management’ of its natural and physical resources.
  • Climate Change Response Act 2002 – Image supplied by the authorIn 2002, New Zealand followed the Australian lead and passed its own Climate Change Response Act. I

It required the government to set emissions budgets every 5 to 10 years, and to publish a plan for how emissions would be reduced each period up to 2050.

  • Zero Carbon Amendment Act 2019 – Targets of net zero for all greenhouse gases except biogenic methane by 2050.
  • Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021 – Imposes requirements relating to disclosures about climate change on a large number of large financial market participants, some of whom may well be instruments of work-freezing.

These laws are part of the larger role of New Zealand’s environmental and sustainability legislation, underpinning New Zealand’s international commitments such as the Paris Agreement.

Its goal is to have all of New Zealand’s industries (including freezing works!) commit in law to operating in a way that minimises environmental impact and operates in line with New Zealand’s legal goals on reducing emissions and operating sustainably.


Freezing Works Sustainability. The path won’t be easy – nor likely short. Think of operations that have taken on green practices and the long trajectory of engagement in strategic sustainability. They’re not suddenly altering everything to minimise their ecological footprint (though some do). Rather, they’re finding ways to move forward with operational commitments and requirements while continuously implementing new technologies to reduce environmental impact.