The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill Partnership announced today that Raley’s Family of Fine Stores received a GreenChill 2013 Achievement Award for extraordinary leadership and initiative in achieving the partnership’s mission to better protect the Earth’s ozone layer through innovative refrigeration systems. As a recipient of the 2013-2014 Distinguished Supermarket Partner, Raley’s was recognized for its accomplishments in the last year at the FMI Energy & Store Development Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
“Refrigeration is a necessary component of ensuring food safety for supermarkets everywhere; however, at Raley’s we’re constantly monitoring and evaluating our systems with the environment in mind,” Raley’s Director of Wellness and Sustainability Meg Burritt said. “We are proud to partner with The GreenChill Partnership as we continue to seek more sustainable technology that reduces the impact of refrigeration gases, and we are honored by this recognition.”
Raley’s joined the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership in 2009 and has voluntarily reduced its emissions rate by over 10 percent over the last five years. Raley’s GreenChill pilot store, located in Petaluma, CA was the first in the state and just second in the nation to receive GreenChill Gold Level Certification for innovative refrigeration technology. Raley’s Petaluma received special GreenChill recognition last year for maintaining its GreenChill certification for 5 consecutive years. Other locations in San Jose and Tracy have also been recognized by the GreenChill Partnership for advancements in high-efficiency refrigeration systems.
In addition to reducing refrigerant emissions, Raley’s invests in upgrading and modernizing its refrigeration systems to reduce energy loss. The company installed night blankets on refrigerators at each store to limit energy loss during the night hours when the stores are closed.
This year, 25 Raley’s stores have no reported leaks and 43 stores are under 9 percent refrigerant emissions rates, whereas the estimated national emissions rate is 25 percent. The Gold Level Certified Petaluma store has reported no leaks in six years, which according to EPA estimations has saved the equivalent greenhouse gases of removing 1,965 passenger vehicles from roads for a year.
Last year, Raley’s noticed a discrepancy in leak rate calculations and after researching and identifying the issue, the company proactively presented their findings to all GreenChill partners and illustrated the correct way to calculate refrigerant leak rates.
“Over the past year, Raley’s has proven itself a true leader for the GreenChill Program” said Tom Land, GreenChill Program Manager. “Raley’s earned GreenChill’s Distinguished Partner Award for openly sharing their detailed procedures and costs in determining the exact amount of refrigerant installedin a handful of stores. GreenChill is recognizing their leadership within the Partnership for both engaging in this involved procedure and for sharing their experience which allowed them to more accurately benchmark the efficiency and operation of their refrigeration systems.”
The GreenChill Partnership estimates that refrigerants commonly used in supermarket refrigerant systems can be as much as 4,000 times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide, with a typical supermarket leaking about 1,000 pounds of harmful refrigerant gases into the atmosphere every year. GreenChill partner stores like Raley’s have much lower leak rates. If all supermarkets reduced their leak rates to the GreenChill average, about 27 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent would be saved ever year. For more information on the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership, please visit www2.epa.gov/greenchill.
For a complete list of 2014 GreenChill Award recipients, visit http://www2.epa.gov/greenchill/gcawardwinners2014.