Supermarket Goes Earth Day Green

July 6, 2009
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On Earth Day 2009, Raley’s boasted opening what it called its “greenest store yet,” complete with secondary loop technology and CO2 as a refrigerant. The Petaluma, Calif., store was part of Raley’s response to joining, earlier in the year, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership to fight climate change and protect the earth’s ozone layer.

Thanks to the refrigeration technology installed in the store, Raley’s has been awarded Gold-Level Certification through the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership.

“Although our new store will raise the bar for us, it’s not our first effort at being green,” said Ed Estberg, Raley’s senior director of facilities. “Years ago, Raley’s adopted a corporate philosophy to improve and enhance the environment with little or no fiscal impact on our customers - and we are proud of our record of delivering on that commitment.”

Estberg said the store harnesses natural elements like sunlight, water, and air, decreases a significant amount of air emissions and saves thousands of gallons of water each month.

“Raley’s is committed to the principles of sustainability: reduce, reuse, and recycle,” said Raley’s President and CEO Bill Coyne.

Keilly Witman of EPA’s Stratospheric Protection Division said that to receive GreenChill’s gold-level store certification, a store must use green refrigeration technology that reduces by one-half the system’s impact on climate change and the ozone layer.


Raley’s uses glycol and CO2 as secondary coolants to regulate temperatures and decrease refrigerant use. By applying secondary coolants to medium and high temperature fixtures and CO2 for low temperature fixtures, the company requires 1,800 pounds of conventional refrigerant, about a 40 percent reduction from stores of similar size, Estberg said.

The mechanicals are contained in the same location and are targeted to maintain extremely low leak rates.


A high-efficiency dual medium condenser was installed at the Petaluma site, saving Raley’s 85,000 gallons of water per month (an 85 percent reduction in condenser water usage) when compared to normal evaporative condenser applications that take 100,000 gallons per month. With the Petaluma store and three others in operation, the company is saving a total of 340,000 gallons of water per month, Estberg said.

He added that using a dual medium condenser allows Raley’s to utilize the power of two natural elements - water and air - moving away from evaporative condensers and saving electricity in the process.


Ceiling skylights provide natural, solar light and reduce power reliance and usage. Induction lighting (bulbs that last five times as long as fluorescent lights) should last 27 years without requiring replacements, it was reported. Photo sensors also determine when lights shut on or off, based on the amount of solar light streaming through the skylights.

Publication Date: 07/06/2009

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