sheccoBase webinar: Accelerating energy efficiency in HFC-free supermarkets

European retailers Delhaize Belgium, METRO AG, and Migros are turning to a holistic approach encompassing HFC-free technology and energy-efficient solutions to lower their operations’ carbon footprint, representatives of the companies said during a webinar organized by shecco and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) U.K.

The webinar was held on June 26, the first annual World Refrigeration Day

“To reap the highest rewards of HFC-free technology, a rigorous approach to equipment design […] needs to be considered for the entire system of the store,” said Sophie Geoghegan, climate campaigner at EIA UK, an NGO based in London.

That design, she said, includes taking advantage of heat recovery and energy storage, ensuring good servicing and maintenance throughout equipment lifetime, minimizing the heating and cooling loads, and investing in high-efficiency components.

Olaf Schulze, director facility, energy & resource management for German retail giant METRO AG, presented the Group’s strategy to reduced its carbon footprint by 50% between 2011 to 2030. An F-gas exit program is part of the strategy. “We only install natural refrigerants in each new store opening and refurbished store,” said Schulze. “Each new equipment is reducing dramatically the energy demand.”

In the Chinese cities of Chongqing and Beijing, where METRO AG is using transcritical CO2 refrigeration, the chain estimates it can reduce energy demand by 25%, said Schulze.

David Schalenbourg, director architecture, construction & maintenance for Delhaize Belgium (part of the Ahold Delhaize group) explained the company recently decided to adopt harmonized climate-science-based targets across countries where the it operates in order to lower its CO2 emissions by 30% and reach an average refrigerant GWP of 1,333.

“Natural refrigerants are our default technology for new stores,” said Schalenbourg, adding energy efficiency solutions such as adiabatic coolers, as well as leak management and preventive maintenance, were key for to further decrease Delhaize’s carbon footprint.    

Marina Escala, energy monitoring specialist at Swiss retailer Migros, said that the company in 2018 reduced its electricity consumption – in stores and logistics – by 9.8% and its greenhouse gas emissions by 22.4% compared to 2010. As of May 2019, Migros operated 302 stores with transcritical CO2, 149 with cascade CO2 and about 20 with R290 water-loop systems.

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