By: Marjorie DePuy, Senior Director, Supply Chain and Sustainability and Farleigh Lichstein, Director, Education FMI
In a typical year, the FMI Energy & Store Development Conference would feature a special presentation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) GreenChill Awards, which celebrates leaders and innovators in the world of refrigerant management. The celebration of food retailers making major sustainability strides and adapting their store environments continues this year, just in a different format.
The GreenChill Program
GreenChill is a voluntary partnership program between EPA and the food retail industry to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease stores’ impact on the ozone layer and climate system. GreenChill works to help food retailers:
- Lower refrigerant charge sizes and eliminate leaks.
- Transition to environmentally friendlier refrigerants.
- Adopt green refrigeration technologies and best environmental practices.
There are currently 26 retailers representing 61 banners in the GreenChill program, as well as five refrigeration system manufacturers and six chemical producers.
Making Real Change
GreenChill has made real change with the average GreenChill partner emissions rate at 14.3%. EPA noted on average, GreenChill partners are using about 30% less refrigerant in stores than in 2007. According to EPA, the potential impact of these changes is far-reaching, in the sense that if every U.S. supermarket met GreenChill Partner average emissions rate, the supermarket industry would:
- Save more than $160 million in refrigerant replacement costs
- Reduce annual refrigerant emissions by:
- 30 million metrics tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e).
- 88 ozone depletion potential metrics tons.
And the Winners Are…
We’re pleased and honored to see so many FMI members recognized in this year’s EPA GreenChill Awards.
The 2020 winners include Price Chopper, taking not only the Best Emissions Rate overall but the Most Improved Emissions Rate from baseline. Cook County Whole Foods Coop also won a Best Emissions Rate award. Meijer, Price Chopper, Weis Markets and Whole Foods Market achieved their annual GreenChill refrigerant emissions reduction goals and earned Superior Goal Achievement awards. Weis Markets also earned an Exceptional Goal Achievement by reaching its stretch goals.
Meijer at Grand River Avenue took the Best of the Best award this year, while Aldi and Hillphoenix earned Store Certification Excellence awards for achieving the most GreenChill store certifications in the past year. Sprouts Farmers Market was back on the leaderboard with multiple locations along with Hannaford, Food Lion and Aldi for Store Recertification Excellence. Grocery Outlet was the newest GreenChill partner this year.