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EPA Names Outstanding GreenChill Partners

Agency honors several grocers for moving to more sustainable refrigeration systems
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Meijer refrigeration
Meijer was recognized for having the lowest corporate-wide refrigerant emissions rate out of all GreenChill Partners nationwide over the past year.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized a dozen food retailers from around the country for their achievements in the voluntary GreenChill Program. The companies were honored during the Energy and Store Development Conference hosted by Arlington, Va.-based FMI – The Food Industry Association.

Grocers who take part in the GreenChill program commit to reducing their refrigerant emissions to reduce their environmental impact. The EPA reports that GreenChill retailers maintain emissions that are about half the industry average and have avoided the emission of nearly 600 metric tons of ozone-depleting substances over the past 16 years.

[Read more: “SPECIAL REPORT: The Greener Grocer”]

This year’s winning GreenChill retail partners are as follows:

Best Emissions Rate: Ashland Food Co-Op, of Ashland, Ore., and Meijer, of Grand Rapids, Mich. 

Most Improved Emissions Rate: Brookshire Grocery Co., of Tyler, Texas 

Superior Goal Achievement: Ashland Food Co-Op; Brookshire Grocery Co.; Food Lion, of Salisbury, N.C.; The Giant Co., of Carlisle, Pa.; Hannaford, of Scarborough, Maine; King Kullen, of Bethpage, N.Y.; and Weis Markets, of Sunbury, Pa. 

Exceptional Goal Achievement: Ashland Food Co-Op and Food Lion 

The EPA also honored retailers that take part in its GreenChill store certification program for their respective performances in meeting strict criteria for greener refrigeration systems. 2023 winners included:

Store Leadership:  Kwik Trip, of La Crosse, Wis., the first convenience store to receive a GreenChill certification.  

Store Certification Excellence: ALDI, of Batavia, Ill., for certifying 628 GreenChill Certified Stores over the past year; and Hillphoenix, of Conyers, Ga., which achieved this recognition for the 11th consecutive time.

Several retailers received a nod for store recertification, including ALDI; Hannaford; Meijer; Publix Super Markets, of Lakeland, Fla.;, Target, of Minneapolis; and Weis Markets.

Paul Gunning, director of EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Protection, said that this year’s retail honorees reflect a broader dedication to transitioning to greener refrigeration practices and technologies. “Participants in the GreenChill Partnership and Store Certification Programs have been leading the industry in environmentally friendly refrigeration practices, and EPA annually honors their achievements at both the corporate and individual store certification level,” he remarked. “These companies’ efforts show that it is possible to keep food cool while protecting our Earth’s ozone layer and climate system by setting and achieving ambitious goals year after year.”

One of this year’s winners, Meijer, has been an active GreenChill participant since 2012 and is well below the industry average refrigerant leak rate of 25%.Lessening our impact on the environment through a continued commitment to reduce carbon emissions is important to us and our customers,” said Vik Srinivasan, Meijer’s chief administrative officer. We’ve made significant progress toward our goal of reducing our absolute carbon emissions 50% by 2025, thanks in part to our teams’ continued focus on refrigeration management through our partnership with GreenChill.”

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