Eco-friendly refrigeration could be coming to a supermarket near you

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Eco-friendly refrigeration could be coming to a supermarket near you

Supermarket fridge

Environmentalists can rejoice as climate friendly refrigeration systems for supermarkets are now legally available in the United States.

Currently, the refrigeration systems supermarkets in America use 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) as a refrigerate—HFCs are also known as “super greenhouse gases” that are hundreds or thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that each year, 25 percent of HFC’s are leaking into the earth’s atmosphere and that a single supermarket can produce the greenhouse gas emissions of 350 passenger vehicles. What’s more, the most commonly used HFC, known as R-404A, is said to have a global warming potential 3,900 times higher than carbon dioxide.

With the new announcement, new systems that use carbon dioxide (CO2) as a refrigerant can be implemented at supermarkets. Hillphoenix, a leading producer of advanced refrigeration systems for supermarkets, offers its Advansor CO2 Booster Refrigeration System which uses CO2 instead of HFC. Other popular systems include the Advansor, which uses natural refrigerants,produce almost no greenhouse gas emissions.

“The introduction of this energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and proven system to the American market is a Christmas gift to the climate,” said Allan Thornton, President of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an international environmental non-profit group that is seeking a global phase out of HFCs, in a press release. “American supermarkets have been slow to replace HFC refrigeration technologies and have fallen far behind their counterparts inEurope, Japan and Canada in introducing climate friendly refrigeration units. The new Hillphoenix system is a game changing technology that must appeal to every supermarket and retail chain in America that values climate protection and energy efficiency.”

“Transcritical systems have been proven not just environmentally sound, but economically viable from Europe to Japan to Australia and Canada. This announcement proves the American market is ready to join the movement,” said senior climate policy analyst at the EIA, Danielle Gagne, in a statement. “The only question left is which American supermarket will be the first to take this important step and lead the industry in phasing out HFCs? We encourage consumers to ask their supermarkets if they have made the change and are helping to save the climate.”

Photo by Tobias Mandt

Susmita is a freelance writer and editor in the Greater New York City area with her own blog on natural beauty (Cherry Stained Lips). In her spare time, Susmita enjoys cooking, traveling, dappling in photography, art history and interior design, and moonlighting as a therapist for her loved ones.