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EPA Honors Several Retailers for Cuts in Refrigerant Emissions

GreenChill Partnership recognizes Meijer, Cook County Whole Foods Co-Op and Hy-Vee, among others
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
EPA Honors Several Retailers for Cuts in Refrigerant Emissions
The EPA's GreenChill program recently honored grocers that are successfully transitioning to environmentally friendlier refrigerants and adopting advanced refrigeration technologies.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has lauded several grocers for their efforts to reduce refrigerant emissions. The honored retailers are participants in the EPA’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, a voluntary program within the food retail industry aimed at reducing refrigerant emissions and improving sustainability.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-headquartered Meijer and Grand Marais, Minn.-based Cook County Whole Foods Co-ops took home the awards for Best Corporate Emissions Rate, based on their leading corporate-wide refrigerant emissions rate. The retailers who posted the most improved emissions rate were City Market Onion River Co-op in Burlington, Vt.; and Weis Markets, of Sunbury, Pa.

Meijer and Des Moines, Iowa-headquartered Hy-Vee were honored for achieving their “stretch” refrigeration emissions goals over the past year. Several other grocers received nods for meeting their annual GreenChill goals, including Food Lion, of Salisbury, N.C.; Grocery Outlet Inc., of Emeryville, Calif., Raley's; of Sacramento, Calif.; Sprouts Farmers Market, of Phoenix; and Target; of Minneapolis.

GreenChill also hands out an annual award for store leadership. This year, a Grocery Outlet location in Canoga Park, Calif., earned a distinction for its innovation as the first GreenChill-certified store to exclusively use eco-friendlier propane in its commercial refrigeration systems. Aldi U.S., based in Batavia, Ill., scored a distinction for certifying the most GreenChill locations, coming in at 424 sites.

“We applaud the strides these companies are making to reduce the environmental impact of commercial refrigeration systems,” said Joe Goffman, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Many refrigerants are climate damaging, so by reducing refrigerant emissions and switching to more environmentally friendlier refrigerants, these companies are demonstrating their dedication to a sustainable future.”

The 2021 GreenChill award recipients were recognized in an online ceremony on Sept. 9. 

Meijer is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North AmericaWeis MarketsHy-VeeFood Lion's parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, Grocery OutletRaley’sSprouts Farmers Market, Target Corp.Meijer and Aldi U.S. are Nos. 60, 34, 10, 69, 61, 48, 6, 18 and 24, respectively. 

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