Supermarkets Step Up Green Efforts

November 1, 2010
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Among recent developments in the supermarket sector were installation of a CO2 cascade system at a store in California and a number of recognitions for a Pennsylvania-based chain.

CASCADE

Kysor/Warren, a Manitowoc Foodservice company, announced installation of a CO2 refrigeration system in the recently opened Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market in Southern California, making this the second major U.S. grocery retailer to feature such a system. With the installation of the naturally occurring CO2 system, Fresh & Easy expects to reduce the impact of the store’s refrigeration on the ozone layer by nearly 70 percent as compared to industry standards, officials said.

“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,” said Jim Laycock, president of Kysor/Warren. “We are honored to partner with Fresh & Easy in their commitment to doing what is right for the Earth.”

By utilizing a natural refrigerant in conjunction with R-134a, the system lowers the global warming potential by approximately 50 percent, creating a significantly less harmful impact on the environment, he said.

“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,” said Roberto Munoz, Fresh & Easy director of neighborhood affairs.

The newly opened Fresh & Easy store, located in Rosemead, Calif., earned a silver certification award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill Partnership.

Fresh & Easy operates 163 stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada. On average, Fresh & Easy stores use 30 percent less energy than a typical supermarket, the company said. Fresh & Easy uses LED lighting in external signs and freezer cases, offers customer recycling in every store, and uses advanced refrigeration and freezer units to cut back on energy usage.

“An important part of our business operations at Kysor/Warren is to develop environmentally responsible products,” said 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.”

In October 2009, Kysor/Warren unveiled its first CO2 cascading system with grocery retailer Food Lion, in Columbus, Ga.

RECOGNITIONS

Supermarket retailer Giant Eagle® Inc. recently received four awards from the EPA for its green practices and sustainability efforts, as well as special recognition for its environmentally friendly transportation initiatives.

“Our multiple partnerships with the EPA are a significant piece of our overall sustainability strategy, which also includes our energy management efforts and recycling initiatives,” said Giant Eagle Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Development Shelly Sponholz. “We truly believe that our environmental commitment is a vital part to the success of both our communities and our business, as so many of the sustainable projects we undertake produce tangible benefits to each.”

The U.S. EPA Montreal Protocol awards honor achievements in ozone layer protection, climate protection, and human health protection.  Giant Eagle was honored for its track record and leadership in installing environmentally sustainable business practices throughout its operations.

Montreal Protocol Award honorees include scientists, federal investigators, international government officials, and a pop music artist as well as those in the supermarket industry.

“Giant Eagle continues to achieve what was thought to be impossible just a few short years ago,” said Keilly Witman, manager of EPA’s GreenChill Partnership. “(It was) the first supermarket partner to reduce their corporate-wide refrigerant emissions rate to below 10 percent, a feat that most in the industry said couldn’t be done.”

In addition, the chain was recognized with GreenChill’s 2009 Best Leak Rate Award for its efforts to reduce refrigerant leaks; GreenChill’s 2009 Exceptional Goal Achievement Award for meeting GreenChill standards for stretch refrigerant emissions and, finally, GreenChill’s 2009 Superior Goal Achievement Award for achieving GreenChill’s target rate for  refrigerant emissions. “Giant Eagle has won GreenChill’s Best Emissions Rate Award every year since the GreenChill Partnership was founded in 2007, for having the lowest corporate refrigerant emissions rate of all GreenChill partner companies,” said Witman.

Giant Eagle’s flagship Market District® store, located in Robinson Township, Pa. received an EPA GreenChill Gold Level Building Certification.

The Robinson Market District was noted for its numerous sustainable features, including refrigerant leak rates well below the industry average, the use of secondary loop refrigeration system eliminating sales floor piping and significantly reducing the number of leak points, and the use of CO2 and glycol refrigerants in the secondary loop refrigeration system.

Giant Eagle received a score of 1.25 from the EPA’s Smartway Transport Partnership program, tied for highest among all other participating retailers. The score indicates the relative fuel efficiency and general environmental performance of transport fleets. The program was created to help companies utilize the newest trucking and transport technologies in order to reduce fuel usage as well as emissions.

Publication date: 11/01/2010

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