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News Releases from Region 04

EPA Recognizes Piggly Wiggly in Columbus, Ga. for Environmental Leadership in Reducing Potent Greenhouse Gases

Supermarkets Across the Country Recognized for their Achievements

Contact Information: 
Dawn Harris Young (harris-young.dawn@epa.gov)
(404) 562-8421 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main)

ATLANTA – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Piggly Wiggly in Columbus, Ga. won EPA’s GreenChill Best of the Best Award for installing refrigeration systems that use ammonia as refrigerant. Ammonia’s contribution to climate change is several thousand times smaller than many conventional refrigerants.

Nationally, EPA recognized 13 companies in the supermarket industry for their achievements reducing emissions of environmentally harmful refrigerants. Many of the refrigerants used by supermarkets are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change when leaked into the atmosphere. EPA’s awardees are meeting the goals of the President’s Climate Action Plan by preventing refrigerant leaks, transitioning to climate-friendly refrigerants, and using advanced refrigeration technologies.

“EPA’s GreenChill awardees are meeting the President’s challenge to curb emissions of these potent greenhouse gases head on,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “This year’s award winners are making the smart choice to act on climate by switching to environmentally friendly refrigerants and innovative technologies.”

EPA’s GreenChill partners own approximately 10,800 stores nationwide, representing 29 percent of the U.S. supermarket industry. If supermarkets nationwide reduced the amount of refrigerant they leak to the current GreenChill partner average, they could avoid $169 million in refrigerant replacement costs while preventing the equivalent of 29 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, roughly equal to the annual emissions of about 6 million cars.  

GreenChill partners were recognized in the following categories:

Best Corporate Emissions Rate:  Giant Eagle (Pittsburgh, Pa.) earned the Partnership’s most prestigious award for achieving the lowest refrigerant emissions rate among retail chains. Port Townsend Food Co-op (Port Townsend, Wash.) received this award in the small-independent GreenChill partner category for a second time.

Most Improved Emissions Rate:  Weis Markets (Sunbury, Pa.) was honored with the Most Improved Emissions Rate award for achieving the Partnership’s largest refrigerant leak rate reduction compared to the year it joined the GreenChill Partnership. Dorothy Lane Market (Dayton, Ohio) earned this same recognition for lowering its emissions rate more than any other partner compared to the previous year.

Goal Achievement:  GreenChill’s five Superior Goal Achievement winners voluntarily set and achieved challenging refrigerant emissions reduction goals. Winners include Buehler's Fresh Foods (Wooster, Ohio), City Market, Onion River Co-Op (Burlington, Vt.), Dorothy Lane Market (Dayton, Ohio), Meijer (Grand Rapids, Mich.), and Weis Markets (Sunbury, Pa.).

Distinguished Partner:  Target  (Minneapolis, Minn.) was honored with the Distinguished Partner award for demonstrating extraordinary leadership and initiative in support of GreenChill’s mission.

GreenChill’s Store Certification Program recognized certain stores for meeting strict performance criteria that demonstrate their refrigeration systems have minimal impacts on the ozone layer and climate. GreenChill presented the following store certification awards:

Best of the Best Award:  Piggly Wiggly and Whole Foods Market stores in Columbus, Ga., and Dublin, Calif., respectively, were honored as the “Best of the Best” for installing refrigeration systems that use ammonia as refrigerant. Ammonia’s contribution to climate change is several thousand times smaller than many conventional refrigerants.

Store Certification Excellence Award:  Hillphoenix (Conyers, Ga.) and Sprouts Farmers Market (Phoenix, Ariz.) earned awards for achieving more GreenChill Store Certifications than their peers over the past year.

Store Re-Certification Award:  Five stores were recognized for achieving GreenChill certification for five consecutive years. Winners include Stater Bros. Markets in Palm Desert, Grand Terrace, Chino, and Lake Elsinore, Calif., and Weis Markets in Bellefonte, Pa.

More about the GreenChill Partnership and award winner’s achievements: https://www.epa.gov/greenchill

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