If you are looking for EIA UK, it's overhere.

Supermarkets can combat climate change: Maine grocery store adopts HFC-free refrigeration system

Delhaize America, a Belgium company, is opening a state-of-the-art, climate-friendly grocery store this week in Turner, Maine. The Hannaford grocery store will be the first in the country to use a CO2 transcritical system that will use carbon dioxide (CO2) as a refrigerant rather than HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) -- super greenhouse gases thousands of times worse for the global climate than CO2.

The new system will reduce the store’s carbon footprint by 3.4 million pounds of CO2 equivalent every year, which is the same as taking 305 cars off the road. By following the lead of other progressive retailers around the world that have been using these natural refrigerant systems, Delhaize will be one the first U.S. supermarket chains to adopt the next generation of refrigeration systems that are HFC-free.

Cost-Effective and Energy Efficient

This new climate-friendly system has many advantages. CO2 is inexpensive; leaks are easy to fix; piping is smaller; and the system is energy efficient. Delhaize has recognized that to meet their target to lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, they need to move away from the outdated HFC refrigerants. As Harrison Horning, Director of Energy and Facility Services of Delhaize North America stated in a recent interview, “We realized that refrigerant emissions could easily be 25% to 30% of the greenhouse-gas emissions pie. We knew we had to try a lot of things and one was advanced refrigeration systems and natural refrigerants.”

With huge energy savings to be realized, this store will not only be a pilot for Delhaize, but it will also be an example for retailers throughout the United States. Natural refrigerants, like CO2 are widely accepted and used in Europe, but U.S. companies are lagging behind. The trend may change soon as President Obama’s climate change plan goes into effect, which calls for transitioning from HFCs wherever possible. The plan sends a clear message to consumers and producers of HFCs that the US market is shifting away from the outdated refrigerants.

Addressing HFCs on a global scale

The United States, Canada and Mexico as well as Micronesia have filed petitions to amend the Montreal Protocol, the treaty set up to eliminate gases that harm the ozone layer, to be able to also implement a phase-down of HFCs. As John Thompson, Deputy Director of the Office of Environmental Policy (ENV), U.S. Department of State stated, “If you want to address HFCs on a global scale we have a model that works already, the Montreal Protocol. It’s a mechanism that every country knows and we can use the model to implement a gradual phase down.” Since 2008, EIA has been working to encourage an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase-out HFCs.

Overall, the market share of supermarkets using natural refrigerants is increasing, but more needs to be done to phase-out HFCs as expeditiously as possible. Delhaize and their Hannaford store are on the frontier of the progression towards transitioning to natural refrigerants and their willingness to share results will be a huge step in the right direction for natural refrigerants penetration in the North American marketplace. George Parmenter, Manager of Sustainability for Hannaford caught the significance of opening this store when he said, “Our company is proud of the work done by the Engineering team by bringing this CO2 refrigeration system to Hannaford because it represents one more way for us to keep costs and prices down for customers while we help safeguard the environment.”

The truth is that natural refrigerants are more energy efficient than HFCs in many applications, they are better for the environment, they are reliable, and there is absolutely no reason that U.S. supermarkets are not aggressively transitioning now. There are no more excuses, the time has come to phase-out these harmful refrigerants.

For more information, please contact the authors.

Danielle Gagne
HFC and Climate Policy Analyst
Tel. 202-483-6621

Lowell Chandler
Tel. 202-483-6621

View all Blog Posts

Recent Blog Posts

Finding the Promise in Compromise: EIA Proposal to Jumpstart California HFC Reclaim
Last week EIA participated in California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) 6th workshop on proposed regulations to reduce emissions of super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in cooling. The state’s rigorous process for proposing new regulations on HFC refrigerants has been ongoing for several years now and is in the final stretch. Opportunities for stakeholder engagement have been abundant and ARB has invited input from industry along the way. They even aligned with an industry proposed 2023 deadline for transitioning new air conditioning equipment to refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) less than 750.
Unchartered Territory: Funding Climate Action During a Pandemic
This week, Parties to the Montreal Protocol, renowned as the world’s most successful environmental treaty came together remotely for their annual intersessional meeting, known as the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG). The Montreal Protocol has a vital role to play in addressing climate change, as it becomes increasingly clear that we are currently not on the pathway to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5 °C.

Recent Reports

EIA Comments to OEWG-42
EIA Comments to the 42nd Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG-42) TEAP Replenishment Task Force Report .
EIA Comments on ASHRAE-15 Standards Proposal
EIA comments on a proposed revision to a major U.S. safety standards, ASHRAE-15, calling for important revisions.

Recent Press Releases

Climate-friendly Supermarket Scorecard
Today, EIA launched the Climate-friendly Supermarket Scorecard assessing the largest U.S. supermarkets on actions and commitments to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - potent greenhouse gases used in cooling.
EIA Response to New Nature Paper on Urgent Need to Recover and Destroy CFC Banks
Washington DC – A new paper published in Nature today warns that emissions from ‘banks’ of ozone-destroying CFCs, could potentially delay the Antarctic ozone hole recovery by about six years. The new paper, Quantifying contributions of chlorofluorocarbon banks to emissions and impacts on the ozone layer and climate, also estimates that future emissions from current CFC banks could lead to an additional 9 billion metric tonnes CO2e between 2020 and 2100.
What are the HFC-free Technologies?
Widespread adoption of HFC-free technologies is cost-effective, energy efficient, and climate-friendly. Read EIA’s report Putting the Freeze on HFCs for hundreds of examples of HFC-free technologies available and in use today.
A Global HFC Phase-down
The October 2016 Montreal Protocol meeting in Kigali, Rwanda yielded a global agreement to phase down HFCs. Now countries must ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment! Read and share EIA's briefing on this great opportunity and obligation to avert climate catastrophe.
Help us mitigate climate destroying gases
Where are HFCs used?
What are HFCs?
How to Recycle Your Fridge