German discount supermarket group Aldi has invested £20m in natural refrigerants which will be installed across all of its UK stores to reduce its environmental impact.
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A CO2 refrigeration pack during construction. Up to 100 of Aldi’s UK stores will incorporate CO2 refrigerants by the end of 2018
The transition to CO2 refrigeration units will see Aldi’s potential refrigerant gas carbon emissions cut by 99%.
The units are already in use across some of Aldi’s portfolio, including its recently opened Nuneaton store, and up to 100 of Aldi’s circa-700 stores are set to incorporate CO2 refrigerants by the end of next year.
“By choosing natural refrigerants, we are reducing our impact on the environment while also assuring our stores are future-proofed for years to come,” said Aldi’s communications director Mary Dunn.
“We are continually looking for ways to improve our environmentally friendly credentials, and upgrading our entire stores to energy-efficient refrigeration is a key part of our commitment to being a responsible retailer.”
The CO2-based refrigerant Aldi is converting to has a global warming potential (GWP) of one – thousands of times lower than commonly used alternatives such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). CO2 refrigeration is also significantly better than the level stipulated by the incoming EU Fgas regulations which come into effect in 2030.
Almost 200 nations reached an agreement in Kigali, Rwanda, last year to amend the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and introduce a global phase-out of hydro-HFC refrigerants. Earlier in 2016, fellow supermarket group Sainsbury’s became the first company in the world to incorporate “closed-loop” natural refrigerant trailer units for its delivery vehicles.
In 2015, Aldi announced a three-year plan to replace all its chest freezers with more environmentally-friendly models. And earlier in 2017, the German firm announced plans to install 96,000 solar panels across its stores by the end of the year.