German discounter Lidl, which began opening stores in the U.S. last year, confirmed that it has received platinum certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership for a store in Kinston, N.C.

Platinum is the highest certification that the GreenChill Partnership grants a supermarket, based on either extremely low charge and leak rates for HFC refrigeration systems or the use of refrigerants with a GWP under 150. GreenChill has typically awarded platinum certification to stores that use natural refrigerant systems like transcritical CO2.

“We can confirm that we have received a GreenChill platinum certification.”

Chandler Ebeier, Lidl US

Neither Lidl nor the EPA would  confirm what type of refrigeration system Lidl is using at the Kinston store. However, based on public information it appears that Lidl is using self-contained cases with propane (R290).

In the GreenChill Partnership Group on LinkedIn, Gabrielle Jette, associate in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation & sustainability at consulting firm ICF, wrote last month that the store “is the first to achieve GreenChill certification using self-contained cases as a primary refrigeration system.”

In Europe, Lidl said in 2016 that it has committed to using propane for all new plug-in, self-contained refrigerated units throughout its German stores and plans to roll out R290 for all future installations across Europe. In some instances, Lidl is employing propane chillers with a secondary glycol loop to remove heat from the cases.

In an email response to a query from about the certification and the refrigeration system used at the Kinston store, Chandler Ebeier, public relations specialist for Lidl US replied, “Our teams work with a variety of technologies and processes that help us increase efficiency.   This is an important part of our business that allows us to reduce waste, and deliver our customers better prices.  Although we do not comment on each individual process or technology we have in our stores, we can confirm that we have received a GreenChill platinum certification related to those.”

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