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EPA Recognizes Supermarkets Across America for Smart Refrigerant Management

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WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized 13 organizations in the supermarket industry for their achievements in protecting human health and the environment under its GreenChill Partnership Program. The GreenChill Partnership works with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer by supporting a transition to environmentally friendlier refrigerants, lowering charge sizes and eliminating leaks, and adopting green refrigeration technologies and best environmental practices.

“We applaud all the supermarket chains that have demonstrated tremendous environmental leadership through the prevention of refrigerant releases and the use of advanced refrigeration technologies,” said EPA Office of Air and Radiation Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum. “It’s good for the environment, and it’s just good business.”

Over the past decade, EPA’s GreenChill Partnership has grown from 4,500 stores to over 11,000 stores nationwide, representing about 29 percent of the U.S. supermarket industry. If supermarkets nationwide reduced the amount of refrigerant they leak to the current average leak rate for GreenChill partner companies, they could avoid $212 million each year in the cost of refrigerant that needs to be replaced.

EPA recognized GreenChill partners in the following categories:

Best Corporate Emissions Rate
Harris Teeter (Matthews, N.C.) earned the Program’s most prestigious recognition for achieving the lowest refrigerant emissions rate among retail supermarket chains. City Market Onion River Co-op (Burlington, Vt.) received this recognition for the category of small-independent grocers. 

Most Improved Emissions Rate
Hanover Co-op Food Stores (Hanover, N.H.) was honored with the “Most Improved Emissions Rate” recognition for achieving the Program’s largest refrigerant leak rate reduction compared to 2011, the year it joined GreenChill. Harris Teeter (Matthews, N.C.) lowered its emissions rate more than any other partner compared to the previous year. 

Goal Achievement 
GreenChill’s four “Superior Goal Achievement” winners voluntarily set and achieved their challenging corporate goal for reducing refrigerant emissions. Winners include Coborn's Inc. (St. Cloud, Minn.), Food Lion (Salisbury, N.C.), Hy-Vee (West Des Moines, Iowa), and Harris Teeter (Matthews, N.C.). Hy-Vee (West Des Moines, Iowa), was the sole partner to earn “Exceptional Goal Achievement” for meeting an even more stringent “stretch” refrigerant emissions reduction goal.

Distinguished Partner 
Whole Foods Market (Austin, Texas) was honored with the “Distinguished Partner” recognition for leadership through active participation and information sharing in this year’s GreenChill Program events. 

GreenChill’s Store Certification Program recognized individual stores for meeting strict performance criteria that demonstrate their refrigeration systems have minimal impacts on the ozone layer.

GreenChill presented the following store certification recognitions: 

Best of the Best 
Lidl US (Arlington, Va.) was honored as “Best of the Best” for its innovative approach to refrigeration in its GreenChill certified store in Kinston, N.C. The Lidl USA store only uses stand-alone refrigerated cases with a very small amount of an environmentally-friendly refrigerant.

Store Certification Excellence 
Hillphoenix (Conyers, Ga.) and Sprouts Farmers Market (Phoenix, Ariz.) earned recognition for achieving more GreenChill store certifications than their peers over the past year; this is each company’s seventh and sixth consecutive time earning this recognition, respectively. 

Store Re-Certification
Five stores were recognized for achieving GreenChill certification for five consecutive years. Winners include Hannaford in Turner, Maine, Sprouts Farmers Market in Fresno, Calif., Stater Bros. Market in Redlands, Calif., Weis Markets in Hillsborough, N.J., and Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Hannaford and Whole Foods stores were two of the first in the U.S. to adopt an environmentally-friendlier advanced refrigeration system that uses carbon dioxide as its only refrigerant.

More about the GreenChill Partnership and winners' achievements: