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Food Retailers’ Continuous Efforts for a More Sustainable Future

By Published On: July 1, 2021

Several food retail organizations across the country are actively adopting sustainable initiatives as looming refrigerant regulations from state and national environmental agencies continue to put pressure on them.

The use of natural refrigerants in commercial and industrial applications has been placed in the spotlight aiming to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now, food retailers and industry organizations are jointly rallying towards a greener future.

The North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council  (NASRC), a non-profit organization aiming to promote the advanced adoption of natural refrigerants in the refrigeration industry, is helping food retailers to adopt natural refrigerants in their refrigeration systems by way of funding support through NASRC’s pilot program called Aggregated Incentives Program (AIP). One project from this program is helping retailers offset upfront costs for the adoption of natural refrigerant technologies. Likewise, under the same program, NASRC is incentivizing grocers in California by securing $880,000 in funding for retailers who will participate in the natural refrigerant grocery projects. Participating grocers are expected to use environmentally friendly refrigerants such as CO2 and propane.

According to a survey done by NASRC in 2020 involving 13 major food retailers across the US, food retailers have a specifically strong and growing interest in CO2 and propane-based condensing units. Major food retailers are showing strong demand for these natural refrigerant-based technologies because of their zero GWP (Global Warming Potential) characteristics and flexibility to serve unique load types for new and existing store applications. The report clearly shows that retailers are more than willing and interested in transitioning to natural refrigerants to cut HFC emissions.

However, for some retailers, transitioning from HFC refrigerants to natural alternatives is not as simple.  The gradual increase in the adoption of natural refrigerants has left some retailers doubtful of their return on investments in the real world. Retailers need to comprehensively account for costs and technical concerns to properly implement and install natural refrigerant technologies. One way to address this challenge is for retailers to partner with reliable service solutions providers that are experts in the field of commercial and industrial refrigeration applications. Likewise, succeeding in this transition requires a comprehensive and stringent compliance program. The only way to do this is to collaborate with refrigeration suppliers that answer to retailers’ transition needs whether it be to replace old systems or retrofit new ones.  

Seeing food retail companies, non-profit organizations, and different governing bodies work together for a more sustainable future gives light and hope to our plight on climate change. Knowing they are putting forth a concerted effort in preserving our world gives hope for a brighter, cleaner future for us all.