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Tesco-owned Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has added four more GreenChill certified stores this year, including a Gold certified that opened this week in Oceanside, Calif., giving it a total of eight stores currently certified through the program – the most of any grocer in the country.
"We've worked hard to be thoughtful on the impact we have on the environment and we're excited to continue to innovate in this area," said Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason. "On average, our stores use 30 percent less energy than a typical supermarket, which not only helps the environment, but also keeps our prices low so our customers can continue to save money."
GreenChill certification is awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) GreenChill Partnership for stores meeting tough benchmarks for cutting emissions that harm the earth's protective ozone layer and contribute to global warming. Fresh & Easy opened its first GreenChill certified store in September 2010. Only 45 of the nation's more than 35,000 grocery stores have received GreenChill Store Certification awards.
"The fact that Fresh & Easy has received the most GreenChill awards in the nation speaks volumes for the company's environmental commitment," said Keilly Witman, manager of EPA's GreenChill Partnership. "We’ll continue working with Fresh & Easy on bringing even more of its stores into the GreenChill program."
Fresh & Easy stores that received GreenChill certification so far this year are its California locations in El Cajon, Lake Forest, Oceanside, and a San Dimas store slated to open February 23.
In addition to Fresh & Easy's efforts to reduce refrigerant emissions, the company also stresses energy efficiency. Energy efficient characteristics of the company's refrigeration units include:
- Energy efficient doors on freezer and dairy cases
- Triple-pane glass with an anti-fog coating on refrigerator doors, eliminating the need for door heaters for icing or fogging
- Night curtains on refrigerators to conserve energy while keeping product at the appropriate temperature when stores are closed
- LED lighting in all chilled cases
El Segundo, Calif.-based Fresh & Easy operates more than 160 stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada. It opened its first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified store last year and is a pilot member of the LEED Volume Certification Program. The company has also joined the California Climate Action Registry and The Climate Registry to disclose its greenhouse gas emissions. At its distribution center in Riverside, Calif., the company invested $13 million in a solar roof installation, which at 500,000 square feet is one of California's largest.