EPA Awards Grocers Giant Eagle, Harris Teeter for Slashing Refrigerant Emissions

EPA Awards Grocers Giant Eagle, Harris Teeter for Slashing Refrigerant Emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency singled out Giant Eagle Inc. and Harris Teeter Inc. for emitting the least amount of ozone-depleting refrigerant among a group of food retailers and others that pledged to cut their emissions below the industry standard.

The two companies were part of a charter group of 10 that joined the EPA’s fledgling GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership during its launch last November. The group, now 30 members strong, has achieved emissions rates that are almost 50 percent below the EPA’s estimated standard, the agency said.

"EPA congratulates Giant Eagle and Harris Teeter for leading the field with exemplary emissions prevention and maintenance systems," Robert J. Meyers, EPA's principal deputy assistant administrator for Air and Radiation said in a statement.

According to the EPA, the GreenChill partners are responsible for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from refrigerants by an estimated  2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, an amount the agency says is equivalent to the annual emissions of 500,000 cars. The firms participating in GreenChill also saved an estimated $13 million in 2007.

The EPA contends that if supermarkets across the country reduced emissions to the current GreenChill average, the grocers would save $67 million while preventing the annual emission of 13 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and 157 ozone depleting potential (ODP) tons. ODP tons are a measure of the potency of ozone-depleting substances.

In addition to naming Giant Eagle of O’Hara Township, Penn., and Harris Teeter, of Matthews, N.C., the first winners of the GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership Environmental Achievement Award, the EPA added eight firms as GreenChill partners this week.

The new firms are Price Chopper Supermarkets, Supervalu Inc., Weis Markets Inc., Hussmann Corp., Zero Zone Inc., Arkema Inc., Dow Chemical Co. and Ineos Fluor Americas.