German multinational retailer ALDI is replacing R404A with propane in its cold stores in the UK and Ireland, as it targets carbon-neutral UK and Irish operations by the end of 2019.

ALDI typically has 16 plug-in chest freezers in each of its cold stores. These have historically operated on R404A, but the retailer is placing them with alternatives based on propane (R290), reports the UK’s Refrigeration and Air Conditioning magazine.

Aldi estimates that replacing the R404A-based cold store freezers with propane-based models is saving 2,489 tons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions across its estate – an average of 3.3 tons per store. 

Alongside replacing R404A with R290, ALDI is also adding an inner cold room door – the K750 insulated secondary door from Birmingham-based Kenfield – to deliver additional carbon emission savings of 1.65 tonnes per store; or 1,238 tonnes across the estate.

The UK and Ireland divisions of ALDI are planning to be carbon-neutral at the end of 2019. The new cold storage freezers are playing a key role here. Using propane for the cold storage areas is also helping ALDI to achieve its goal of using only natural refrigerants for refrigeration, which is an important aspect of the retailer’s sustainability strategy in the UK and Ireland. 

The new secondary doors also close automatically, maximising the amount of time they are closed and thereby further increasing the efficiency of the refrigeration system.

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Author Rico Meyn