The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) unveiled a new initiative identifying U.S. retailers committed to taking leadership action to reduce HFCs. As part of this initiative, Aldi U.S. announced its intent to add 100 more stores in 2019 with HFC-free refrigeration systems.
“In a time of acute need for leadership on climate change, the U.S. retail sector has remained a laggard in adopting climate-friendly cooling compared to their counterparts in rest of the developed world,” said Avipsa Mahapatra, lead of climate campaign at EIA. “Smart companies, such as Aldi U.S., committed to rapidly scaling up energy efficient HFC-free technologies, demonstrate that it makes business and climate sense to lead in adopting future-proof refrigeration systems not reliant on potent super-pollutants.”
“Aldi is deeply committed to reducing its refrigerant emissions and believes natural refrigerants are the best long-term solution for the planet,” said Aaron Sumida, vice president at ALDI. “To put this value into practice, ALDI has adopted transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems in many of its new and remodeled stores and targets 100 more in 2019. We’re excited to continue to drive forward change with our commitment to hydrofluorocarbon reduction and adopting natural refrigeration systems.”
EIA analysis found Aldi U.S. as a standout leader, along with Whole Foods, Target, Sprouts, and Ahold Delhaize USA as companies taking significant steps to reduce HFCs and increase energy efficiency in refrigeration. These companies are profiled in a new web platform, located at www.climatefriendlysupermarkets.org. The site provides a map of supermarket locations in the U.S. using climate-friendly cooling and highlights specific company actions in three key areas: adopting technologies, refrigerant management, and engaging in technical and policy dialogue.
"We are committed to limiting our climate footprint, including taking steps to reduce HFCs used in cooling,” said Brittni Furrow, vice president of sustainable retailing for Ahold Delhaize USA. “Our company's global target to lower the average GWP of refrigerants in stores to 2,230 by the year 2020 reflects this commitment. We also continue to look for opportunities to use climate-friendly cooling technologies like those already employed in one Food Lion and three Hannaford stores in the U.S.”
Frank Davis, director of facilities and engineering at Sprouts Farmers Market, said, “At Sprouts, we are committed to lowering HFC emissions from cooling by reducing leaks and piloting sustainable refrigeration technologies in stores. We continue to follow through on this commitment through our participation and certification of stores in EPA's GreenChill Partnership."
“We commend this small group of leading companies, but there is much more the U.S. supermarket sector can and must do,” said Christina Starr, climate policy analyst at EIA. “These leading companies represent just 15 percent of U.S. supermarkets so there’s a big opportunity for more to commitments such as phasing out the worst HFCs like R-404A, adopting climate friendly refrigerants in new refrigeration systems, or joining the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership and taking steps to limit leaks.”
If all U.S. supermarkets join the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership and achieve similar reduced leak rates, it would mitigate an additional 15.5 million metric tons CO2e annually.
Publication date: 4/29/2019