The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) GreenChill partnership now has 7,000 partner stores located in all 50 states. From regional grocers like Stater Bros. in southern California, and small health food stores like Down-to-Earth, to nationally-recognized names like Whole Foods and the newest partner Target Corporation, the partnership now represents 20% of the supermarket industry.
GreenChill’s food retailers are reducing pollution from commercial refrigeration, decreasing their impact on the ozone layer and protecting people’s health. Protecting the ozone layer protects people from too much ultraviolet radiation, which can lead to skin cancer and cataracts.
“GreenChill is a great example of how businesses and government can work together to protect people’s health and the environment,” says Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “GreenChill capitalizes on industry’s drive for innovation by providing a forum for technology advances and financial savings.”
EPA estimates that GreenChill partners’ refrigerant emissions are 50 percent lower than the industry average. If every supermarket in the nation reduced their emissions to the average GreenChill store rate of 12%, the industry would save more than $100 million in refrigerant costs alone annually, while saving the equivalent of 22 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and 240 tons of ozone-depleting substances every year. The greenhouse gas pollution from an average store’s refrigerant leaks is often higher than the greenhouse gas pollution from an average store’s annual total electricity consumption.
EPA launched the GreenChill program in 2007, as a way to partner with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions, greenhouse gas pollution and decrease their overall impact on the ozone layer. The partnership works with food retailers to transition to more environmentally friendly refrigerants, reduce the amount of refrigerant used in stores, and eliminate harmful refrigerant leaks.