Waitrose has developed a new refrigeration technology, which will dramatically reduce its carbon footprint. According to the Environmental Investigation Agency, about one quarter of the carbon footprint of supermarkets comes from the cooling gases used in refrigeration systems. Once the new system is implemented, the global warming potential (GWP) of the non-Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant used will be reduced by 99.6% compared to its HFC predecessor.
HFC-free refrigeration installation technology trialled to date has been complex, and lack of technical know-how has been a major barrier to adoption. Waitrose have provided a solution to this problem by developing a simple HFC-free refrigeration installation that can be easily serviced by retrained engineers. Waitrose will invest in additional training to ensure that the system is rolled out quickly and efficiently. The technology will be introduced in the new Waitrose Altrincham branch in 2009 and in every new and major refitted branch thereafter.
Nigel Keen, Director of Building and Services and Development commented: 'This is a very exciting new development for Waitrose and for all retailers. Reduction of HFCs is a major concern for supermarkets, and the beauty of this system is its simplicity. There are no barriers to its being rolled out, and we will install it in every new store from now on.'
As part of its continuing commitment to sustainability, Waitrose has also announced its commitment to reducing losses of refrigerants by 50 per cent over the coming three years and to report publicly on progress. As part of its commitment to sustainable construction, Waitrose are also working with BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) the independent buildings environmental assessor, and have committed to achieving a 'very good' BREEAM rating from 2009 on all newly built stores.
Read more about how the Partnership is working to improve the energy efficiency of its operations.
Find out more about the Partnership's commitment to sustainable construction.