March 15, 2012
Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market received the Platinum-Level Store Certification Award from the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership for green refrigeration technology at its new store located in Folsom, Calif. The platinum award puts Fresh & Easy in an elite group among the nation’s 36,000 grocery stores.
This is just the second store in California, and one of just four grocery stores in the nation, to achieve these challenging standards, according to a news release.
A typical supermarket in the U.S. uses approximately 3,500 pounds of refrigerant. The Folsom Fresh & Easy store uses just 70 pounds – a 98 percent reduction that earned it GreenChill’s highest award.
On average, Fresh & Easy stores use 30 percent less energy than a typical supermarket. The stores use LED lighting in external signs and freezer cases, offer customer recycling in every store and use advanced refrigeration and freezer units to cut back on energy usage. The company also recycles or reuses all of its display packaging, sending the majority back through its distribution center.
“Environmental responsibility is part of our DNA. We’ve made a commitment to invest in sustainable technologies from the start,” said Steve Hagen, director of procurement and engineering at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market. “Using new natural refrigerants puts Fresh & Easy on the forefront of sustainability in our industry and ultimately makes these emerging technologies more cost effective for everyone.”
The EPA’s director of Region 9’s Air Division, Deborah Jordan, added, "The Folsom store is a fantastic example of the innovation that can be accomplished when government works together with businesses in a voluntary partnership to protect the environment and save money at the same time. We are proud to be involved in this very successful project."
GreenChill’s Store Certification Program is the only certification program in the nation that focuses on greener refrigeration. The program’s chief goal is to reduce refrigerant emissions from supermarkets that damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer and contribute to global warming. A pound of leaked refrigerant can cause more global warming than 2,000-4,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Fresh & Easy’s Folsom store features Hill PHOENIX Second Nature medium temperature fixtures and walk-ins running on glycol and low temperature fixtures and walk-ins running on C02. Glycol and C02 are environmentally friendly, natural alternatives to harmful HFC refrigerants.
Fresh & Easy selected a Second Nature Compact Chiller system that effectively eliminates all HFCs from the store’s refrigeration system by using medium temperature glycol to condense the low temperature CO2. This is typically achieved with an HFC refrigerant,” explained Henry Pellerin, director, marketing programs for Hill PHOENIX. “The Folsom Fresh & Easy is the only store in the nation, to date, that uses this innovative type of system.
Fresh & Easy joined EPA’s GreenChill Partnership in 2009. The company received EPA’s Annual Environmental Achievement Award in 2011 for having the most GreenChill Store Certifications in the nation.
Fresh & Easy opened its first stores in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada in 2007