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

U.S. Supermarkets Fail to Fulfill Commitments to Phase Out HFCs

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) released a new report exposing leading U.S. retailers such as Walmart, Publix, and Safeway as doing little to meet public commitments to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), some of the most potent greenhouse gases (GHGs), used most commonly in refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

Beyond the Dirty Dozen, a follow up to EIA’s 2013 report The Dirty Dozen, reveals that despite readily available climate-friendly alternatives, shockingly few supermarket chains are replacing leaking refrigeration systems or using HFC- free-systems in new stores. In 2014, U.S. companies opened only eight new supermarkets featuring HFC-free refrigeration, far fewer than retail chains in Canada, Europe, and Japan. Of the 12 companies EIA surveyed for this report, including Whole Foods Market, only one—Delhaize—is considering a commitment to completely phase out HFCs.

HFCs are a growing contributor to climate change due to increasing global demand for refrigeration and air conditioning. President Obama has made reducing HFC use a key pillar of his Climate Action Plan. Across the United States, more than 37,000 supermarkets contain refrigerators leaking an average of 1,556 metric tons of CO2-equivalent of HFCs each year. This amount is equal to the GHG emissions from approximately 12 million cars annually.

The United States, along with Canada, and Mexico has submitted proposals to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs globally, and the United States has also made separate agreements with China and India to work together to reduce HFC consumption and production.

“America’s supermarkets are falling far short of playing their part to contain dangerous climate change”, commented EIA Executive Director Alexander von Bismarck. “In particular, Walmart’s failure so far to follow through on its commitments are a disaster for the global climate. As the world’s largest retailer Walmart has a responsibility to lead and not to undercut its sustainability commitments, and those of the U.S. government.”

Eight of the dozen supermarkets surveyed by EIA are members of the influential Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global network of the world’s largest retailers and food manufacturers. In 2010, CGF members agreed a resolution to begin phasing out HFCs in new refrigeration equipment by 2015.

EIA’s report, Beyond the Dirty Dozen, surveyed 12 retail chains accounting for approximately 45 percent of U.S. supermarkets: Albertson’s, Ahold, Costco, Delhaize, HEB, Kroger, Meijer, Publix, Safeway, Target, Walmart and Wholefoods. Each supermarket’s performance was rated in four areas: HFC policies and uses, partnerships and pledges; refrigeration inspection and maintenance to reduce HFC leakages, and energy efficiency. Each store could earn up to a total of 40 points.

Key findings of the report include:

• Delhaize was the only retailer that exceeded a 50 percent score, earning 23 points.
• Walmart, now America’s largest grocery store, has built more than 800 new U.S. stores since the 2010 CGF resolution but not a single one that is HFC- free. In 2011, current CEO Doug McMillan called on CGF member retailers to join Walmart to “reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent.”
• Target provides no publicly available data on HFC leakage or refrigeration maintenance but announced that its new stores would use a reduced HFC charge in a cascade system.
• Meijer and Safeway have no public plans to install either HFC-free refrigeration systems or HFC-reduced hybrid systems in any of its stores.

For full score breakdowns, by supermarket, download the full report (pages 13-16).

In contrast with the U.S. supermarkets, the Canadian retailer Sobeys has nearly 40 HFC-free stores in operation.

###

Contact:
Maggie Dewane, Communications and Press Officer, +1 (202) 483-6621, mdewane@eia-global.org

View all Press Releases

Recent Blog Posts

World Refrigeration Day 2020
06/26/2020
June 26th marks World Refrigeration Day, a global day recognizing the refrigeration, air-conditioning, and heat pump sector.
Join Us in Thanking HFC-free Supermarkets and Calling for Climate Action
05/28/2020
We’re teaming up with our friends at Green America to thank the supermarkets that are acting on the climate crisis, at a time when supermarkets have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 health crisis and their brave workers are providing critical services.

Recent Reports

EIA Comments to OEWG-42
07/02/2020
EIA Comments to the 42nd Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG-42) TEAP Replenishment Task Force Report .
EIA Comments on ASHRAE-15 Standards Proposal
03/25/2020
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
06/25/2020
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
03/17/2020
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