Supermarkets Line Up to Put Refrigerant Emissions on Ice

Supermarkets Line Up to Put Refrigerant Emissions on Ice

In less than two years, the number of supermarkets and manufacturers of refrigerant and advanced refrigeration systems participating in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill program has quadrupled.

Launched in November 2007, the GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership aims to phase out ozone-depleting refrigerant use in U.S. supermarkets. More than 36 supermarket partners with 6,500 stores in 47 states now participate, the EPA said Thursday.

Program partners cut aggregate greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting refrigerant emissions by 8.5 percent last year. GreenChill supermarket partners emit less than 500 pounds of refrigerant emissions per year, compared to the industry average of approximately 1,000 pounds of refrigerant emissions annually.

Participants in the program can use a benchmarking system to evaluate their progress against their peers, in addition to assistance in developing and fulfilling environmental goals, such as best practices, research and resources.

High performing supermarkets that cut refrigerant charge in half and reduce refrigerant emissions by 75 percent are eligible for a new initiative called the Store Certification Awards program. To date, 10 stores have received the awards, including seven gold and three silver certifications. They include stores from McQuade's Marketplace, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Price Chopper, Jewel-Osco, Cub Foods and Raleys, which accounts for four of the 10 certified stores. 

DuPont, Food Lion, Giant Eagle, Hannaford Bros., Harris Teeter, Hill PHOENIX, Honeywell International, Kysor/Warren, Publix Super Markets and Whole Foods Market were founding members of the voluntary program. The six founding supermarket partners represented roughly 3,000 stores in late 2007.

In September, the EPA honored Giant Eagle Inc. and Harris Teeter Inc. for emitting the smallest amount of ozone-depleting refrigerant among GreenChill members. The EPA will honor additional partners at the Food Marketing Institute’s 2009 Sustainability Summit Aug. 18 for the following categories: best emissions rate, most improved emissions rate, goal achievement, stretch goal achievement, distinguished supermarket partner, and distinguished non-supermarket partner, and best GreenChill-certified store, in addition to seven New Partner Awards.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user ryaninc.