WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that its GreenChill Partnership now has 7,000 partner stores located in all 50 states. From regional grocers to national chains, EPA said the partnership now represents 20 percent of the supermarket industry. GreenChill’s food retailers are reducing pollution from commercial refrigeration and decreasing their environmental impact, said the agency.

“GreenChill is a great example of how businesses and government can work together to protect people’s health and the environment,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “GreenChill capitalizes on industry’s drive for innovation by providing a forum for technology advances and financial savings.”

EPA estimates that GreenChill partners’ refrigerant emissions are 50 percent lower than the industry average. If every supermarket in the nation reduced their emissions to the average GreenChill store rate of 12 percent, the industry would save more than $100 million in refrigerant costs alone annually, while cutting the equivalent of 22 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and 240 tons of ozone-depleting substances every year, said the agency. The greenhouse gas emissions from an average store’s refrigerant leaks are often higher than the greenhouse gas emissions from an average store’s annual total electricity consumption.

EPA launched the GreenChill program in 2007, as a way to partner with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and greenhouse gas emissions. The partnership works with food retailers to transition to more environmentally friendly refrigerants, reduce the amount of refrigerant used in stores, and eliminate refrigerant leaks.

For more information on the GreenChill Partnership, visit www.epa.gov/greenchill.

Publication date:05/16/2011