EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has opened the first grocery store in Southern California to use carbon dioxide (CO2) refrigeration. The store, located in Rosemead, is Fresh & Easy’s first to be GreenChill certified and is among four new stores that the company opened, including the 100th in California.

According to the company, Fresh & Easy’s subcritical cascade CO2 refrigeration system, which is one of only four in the United States, reduces the impact of the store’s refrigeration on the ozone layer by about 70 percent as compared to industry standards. The system is said to have an approximately 50 percent lower global warming potential than traditional refrigerants.

The store also earned a silver certification award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) GreenChill Partnership by meeting tough benchmarks for cutting emissions. 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; and

• LED lighting in all chilled cases.

“On average, our stores use 30 percent less energy than a typical supermarket, which helps our customers save money while also helping the environment,” said 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 partners Kysor/Warren, the equipment manufacturer and designer of the system, and Source Refrigeration & HVAC Inc., 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.

Fresh & Easy operates 163 stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada. The company opened its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified store last year and is a pilot member of the LEED Volume Certification Program. The company has also joined the California Climate Action Registry and The Climate Registry to disclose its greenhouse gas emissions. At its distribution center in Riverside, Calif., the company invested $13 million in a solar roof installation, which at 500,000 square feet is one of California’s largest.

For more information, visit www.freshandeasy.com.

Publication date:10/04/2010