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Three supermarket retailers based in or operating stores in New England have been recognized by EPA’s GreenChill Partnership for their achievements in refrigerant management over the past year. GreenChill is an EPA partnership with supermarkets to reduce harmful refrigerant emissions and decrease partners’ impact on the ozone layer and climate change.
The three supermarket companies recognized with a GreenChill 2011 Environmental Achievement Award for their efforts in New England were McQuade’s Marketplace, Supervalu, and Whole Foods.
GreenChill works with supermarkets to help them transition to environmentally-friendlier refrigerants, reduce the amount of refrigerant they use, eliminate refrigerant leaks, and adopt green refrigeration technologies and environmental best practices. Refrigerants used by supermarkets, if not managed properly, can contribute to climate change and harm the ozone layer, which protects people from cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation, according to EPA. More than 7,300 stores belong to the GreenChill Partnership, a full 20 percent of the supermarket industry.
McQuade’s Marketplace, which operates three stores in Rhode Island and Connecticut, was awarded one of GreenChill’s prestigious Best Emissions Rate Awards for their use of advanced refrigeration technology. “McQuade’s attention to improved maintenance practices was another key to the company’s success in reducing harmful refrigerant emissions,” said Keilly Witman, manager of EPA’s GreenChill Partnership.
Supervalu, which operates Shaw’s and Star Markets, earned a GreenChill award for achieving the company’s challenging emissions reduction goal this past year. Even though GreenChill partners achieve emission rates well below national averages, all partners set ambitious, tough-to-achieve annual goals to continually improve their performance. Those who can accomplish this difficult task are recognized with GreenChill’s Superior Goal Achievement Award.
“Supervalu sought out every opportunity to stop refrigerant leaks and achieve the company’s ambitious voluntary emissions reduction goal,” said Witman. “The employees should be very proud of their hard work, and their customers can feel proud that their supermarkets take environmental protection seriously.”
For the second time since the beginning of the GreenChill Partnership, Whole Foods received the Most Improved Emissions Rate Award. This award acknowledges the GreenChill Partner with the most dramatic reduction in its corporate refrigerant emissions rate from the previous year.
"Whole Foods’ efforts to stop refrigerant leaks led to a 17 percent reduction in the company’s refrigerant emissions rate in one year," said Witman. "Whole Foods’ efforts show that it is possible to make significant gains in environmental protection in a short period of time when a company prioritizes emissions reductions.”
Additional information about EPA’s GreenChill Partnership is available at www.epa.gov/greenchill