Grocers Get GreenChill Awards for Lower Refrigerant Use

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership recognized supermarkets for reducing their use of greenhouse gas refrigerants that deplete the Earth’s ozone layer and contribute to climate change.

The Price Chopper store located in Colonie, N.Y., received the Best of the Best award, which is given to the single store nationwide that is most successful at reducing the environmental impact of its refrigeration equipment.

"Price Chopper’s system is so effective at reducing the amount of refrigerant needed and the expected leak rate that it is truly a one-of-a-kind system in the U.S.," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. "Refrigerants are a double whammy – both depleting the ozone and contributing to climate change – so Price Chopper’s efforts are highly commendable."

The GreenChill Partnership is an EPA cooperative alliance with the supermarket industry that works with stores to reduce their emissions of ozone-depleting greenhouse gas refrigerants.

This year’s awards recognize partners’ most recent successes. Awardees include:

  • King Kullen
  • Wild by Nature
  • Whole Foods
  • Hill Phoenix
  • Supervalu
  • Food Lion
  • Sweet Bay
King Kullen and Wild by Nature, both supermarkets headquartered in Bethpage, N.Y., and Sweetbay Supermarket, based in Tampa, Fla., and Sprouts Farmers Market, which owns stores across California, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas received New Partner Awards. New partners pledge to go beyond regulatory requirements by measuring and tracking refrigerant emissions and then setting reduction targets for those emissions. Partners also agree to use only ozone-friendly alternatives in all new and remodeled stores.

Whole Foods, a nationwide chain of supermarkets, received the award for Most Improved Emissions Rate.

EPA recognized another food retailer that can be found nationwide, Supervalu, for achieving its emissions target in 2008/2009. The nationwide food retailer, headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, received the Environmental Achievement Award for Emissions Reduction and was one of only two companies to achieve its target for 2008. Supervalu also serves as the parent company of the St. Louis-based Shop ‘n Save. The company also includes Cub Foods and Osco Pharmacy.

"Supervalu’s size and organizational structure make it particularly challenging to achieve a corporate refrigerant emissions reduction goal, which makes their accomplishment this year even more impressive," said Keilly Witman, GreenChill Program Manager. "Supervalu took on the GreenChill emissions reduction challenge and did what was necessary to achieve their goals."

Refrigeration manufacturer Hill Phoenix also earned a Distinguished Partner Award for its advanced refrigeration technology, including compact chillers and secondary loop systems.

Food Lion, which owns stores mostly along the Eastern Corridor, received a Distinguished Partner Award for contributions to the environmental advances of the supermarket industry. "Food Lion pioneered technologies that have since become widespread in the industry," said Keilly Witman, GreenChill Partnership manager. "Whether its case studies on new refrigerants or statistics from sub-metering on refrigeration systems that use advanced technologies, Food Lion is always ready to share information so others can benefit from their experience."

GreenChill now has 46 partners, including 37 food retail partners with over 6,500 stores in 47 states.

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