The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) has reported that the number of participants in its GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership now includes more than 6,500 stores in 47 states. In 2008 the program partners reduced their aggregate emissions by 8.5%.

“EPA officials estimate that if all U.S. supermarkets reduced emissions to the current GreenChill average, the nation could save the equivalent of 22 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and 240 ozone-depleting potential tons each year -- equal to the annual emissions from more than 4 million cars. The cost savings of refrigerant expenses is estimated by EPA to be $108 million in refrigerant expenses annually.

GreenChill recently implemented a Store Certification Awards Program that rewards top-performing participants. Gold- or silver-level certification is awarded to retail stores that achieve at least 50% reduction in refrigerant charge and a 75% reduction in refrigerant emissions. Top performers will be recognized by the EPA next week at the Food Marketing Institute’s 2009 Sustainability Summit in San Francisco.

Retailers using R744 (CO2)

Although most GreenChill participant retailers have focused on reducing refrigerant charges rather than the use of natural refrigerants, a number of retailers have already installed R744 technology:

  • Price Chopper: Medium-size retail chain Price Chopper Supermarkets has installed a CO2 cascade system for low-temperature refrigeration designed by Hill Phoenix in its frozen food and ice cream department in the state of New York.

  • Food Lion: In April 2008 the leading supermarket retail chain unveiled in presence of the EPA its grocery store that incorporates a low-temperature system using CO2 as a secondary coolant, while the medium-temperature range is covered by a water-glycol unit. The food retailer had already previously a CO2 cascade system in a store in the U.S. city of Montpellier in 2006. Both installations were designed by Hill Phoenix.

  • Raley’s: After having joined the GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership in January 2009, California-based food retailer Raley’s opened its open its greenest store that employs glycol coolants and CO2 as secondary coolants in Petaluma, California. The retailer was certified for the green refrigeration technology installed in the new store.

    Potential legislation on HFC Phase-down currently under consideration in the US is likely to raise the cost of HFCs and put pressure on the industry to adjust those applications where alternative refrigerants are available and accelerate the deployment of R744 in the US. The GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership is an EPA cooperative alliance with the supermarket industry and other stakeholders to promote advanced technologies, strategies, and practices that reduce refrigerant charges and emissions of ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases.