Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Rosemead, CA, on September 8th opened the first grocery store in Southern California to use naturally occurring carbon dioxide (CO2) refrigeration. The store, located in Rosemead, is Fresh & Easy’s first to be GreenChill certified and is among four stores that the company opened today, including the 100th in California.

Sources report that Fresh & Easy’s sub critical cascade CO2 refrigeration system, which is one of only four in the U.S., reduces the impact of the store’s refrigeration on the ozone layer by about 70%, as compared to industry standards. By using a natural refrigerant, the system has an approximately 50% lower Global Warming Potential than traditional refrigerants.

The store also earned a silver certification award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill Partnership by meeting tough benchmarks for cutting emissions that harm the earth’s protective ozone layer and contribute to global warming. Fewer than 40 of the nation’s 35,000 grocery stores have received GreenChill Store Certification awards.

"Fresh & Easy's Rosemead store is an excellent example of what can be achieved when a supermarket puts technology to work to help the ozone layer and fight climate change," said Keilly Witman, Manager of EPA's GreenChill Partnership. "This store's commitment to reducing refrigerant emissions proves that Fresh & Easy is serious about protecting the environment." In addition to Fresh & Easy’s efforts to reduce refrigerant emissions, the company also stresses energy efficiency.

Energy efficient characteristics of the company’s refrigeration units include:
• Energy efficient doors on freezer and dairy cases
• Triple-pane glass with an anti-fog coating on refrigerator doors, eliminating the need for door heaters for icing or fogging
• Night curtains on refrigerators to conserve energy while keeping product at the appropriate temperature when stores are closed
• LED lighting in all chilled cases.

“On average, our stores use 30% less energy than a typical supermarket, which helps our customers save money while also helping the environment,” says Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason. “We’ve worked hard to make sure we are thoughtful in the impact we have on the environment and we’re excited to continue to innovate in this area.”

The company worked closely with Kysor/Warren, and Source Refrigeration, which handled store specific engineering and installation. Verisae provided the energy management system controlling the system and its software will be used to help Fresh & Easy track energy use and operating costs.

“With the growing concern over the impact of refrigerant leaks into the environment, Kysor/Warren takes seriously its efforts to create ‘green’ solutions within the supermarket industry,” says Jim Laycock, president of Kysor/Warren.

“We're honored to partner with Fresh & Easy in their commitment to doing what is right for the earth.”

By using a natural refrigerant in conjunction with R-134a, the system lowers the global warming potential by approximately 50%, creating a significantly less harmful impact on the environment. The Kysor/Warren CO2 refrigeration system is one of only four in the country.

“We have worked hard across our business to lessen our impact on the environment. Kysor/Warren has been a fantastic partner and we’ve worked closely with them to find innovative ways to help us achieve this mission,” says Roberto Munoz, Fresh & Easy director of neighborhood affairs.

“An important part of our business operations at Kysor/Warren is to develop environmentally responsible products,” says Travis Lumpkin, vice president and systems business unit leader for Kysor/Warren. “We believe that being good stewards of the environment includes continuously seeking new processes to reduce our impact on the planet while creating long-term value for our customers to assist them in meeting their green-initiative goals.”