Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market (El Segundo, Calif.) has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, voluntarily committing to reduce refrigerant emissions to minimize the impact on climate change and protect the ozone layer.
"Since the program's inception a year and a half ago, GreenChill's partners have proven themselves to be leaders in reducing supermarkets' effect on the ozone layer and climate change,” says Keilly Witman of EPA's stratospheric protection division. “Fresh & Easy is a welcome addition to that effort."
According to GreenChill, the industry average for refrigerant leakage is 25 percent. Fresh & Easy's current leak rate is well under 10 percent due to advanced refrigeration technologies and the company's use of a refrigeration system alarm center and leak detection program to actively monitor and respond to refrigerant leaks quickly.
According to the EPA, GreenChill's food retail partners are responsible for a reduction in refrigerant greenhouse gas emissions totaling 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide – equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of 500,000 cars. In addition, these partners also saved almost $13 million in operating costs.
Fresh & Easy also stresses energy efficiency by using energy-efficient doors on freezer and dairy doors; utilizing triple-pane glass with an anti-fog coating that eliminates the need for door heaters for icing or fogging; LED case lighting; and curtains on refrigeration cases at night to conserve energy
"By being thoughtful in how we operate all parts of our business, we've been able to make a significant difference in our overall environmental impact," says Fresh & Easy ceo Tim Mason. "We’re always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint – from energy-efficient refrigeration units to skylight in stores." The company also invested in a 500,000-square-foot solar roof installation on its distribution center in Riverside which currently produces over 75 percent of the center's energy.