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GreenChill Launch Transcript (November 2007)

Return to the GreenChill Launch event page for audio and video of the event.

{This is a transcript of the GreenChill Launch Event - November 2007}

[Jeff Cohen] Jeff Cohen. I work for the EPA's Stratosphere Protection Division and over the past several decades, our division has been working very closely with their partners from academia, industry, other national and international organizations and trade associations. We have made significant strides in protecting the earth's stratospheric ozone layer. And as you know, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. We had a very big set of negotiation successes this past September in Montreal, and we are well on our way to restoring the ozone layer back to its natural state. The event today is to talk about a program that goes beyond regulatory requirements and we are really proud of industries such as the supermarket sectors that you guys represent, and sometimes the tough choices you have to make over the past several years to protect the ozone layer and put us on a path to recovery. Why we are here today is to talk about a program that is about continuing to make tough choices, not just to protect ozone but to protect the larger global environment. And I want to introduce Bob Meyers, who is here today. Bob is our principal deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. Bob oversees all of the work that EPA does on air related activities, including industrial and vehicle pollution, acid rain, stratospheric ozone protection, radiation protection, indoor air quality, and global climate change.

[Bob Meyers] Thanks, Jeff. It is a pleasure to be here today. We have to do all things in EPA and this is one of the better things we get to do is recognize some of our efforts and have our partners here. But we are here today, basically, to launch the EPA's GreenChill Events Refrigeration Partnership, and it is my pleasure, as I said, to welcome our partners who are representing major supermarkets and refrigeration equipment and cooling manufacturers. The 10 partners we have here today have stepped up in taking a lead in this area and reduce their use of ozone depleting substances and greenhouse gases. And they have committed to technologies, strategies, and practices that reduce the emissions of ozone depleting substances and greenhouse gases and increase refrigeration system efficiency, and they are sharing this information with each other and through the partnership, are practicing environmental best practices. So EPA's goal for GreenChill, and Jeff mentioned it has been under development for a couple of years and briefed as we have gone along the way here, but it has expanded this program to other supermarket partners and expanded things. Stakeholders want to play a greater role in reducing their emissions of ozone depleting substances. We feel that U.S. consumers care about the environment, and they expect the stores where they shop to care also. And that is why GreenChill membership is a competitive advantage [audio glitch]. The logo lets consumers know that you are serious about your environmental commitments. The majority of the approximately 34,000 supermarkets in the U.S. use HCFC-22, that is an ozone depleting substance and greenhouse gas, and they use this as their primary refrigerant. A typical supermarket refrigeration system uses about 4,000 pounds of HCFC-22. Because they are so large, the typical system can lose about 25 percent of its total charges here, basically 1,000 pounds of the refrigerant. And that being in relation to environment can deplete the ozone layer as well as add to additional greenhouse gas emissions. Alternatives are available, ozone friendly alternatives, and along with improved technology and servicing practices that reduce refrigerant charges, refrigerant leak rates, and refrigerant emissions, these are available in the marketplace today. EPA's GreenChill partners are converting to these systems. These advance practices can potentially reduce emissions by up to 4 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent annually, and that is equivalent to removing 800,000 cars from our roads every year. So to sort of bringing in the summation here, we think that GreenChill makes good business sense, and the programs that GreenChill partners are implementing now have the potential to save $12 million annually industry-wide. So in recognition of the efforts of our partners and their commitment to this program, I would like now to present each founding organization with a GreenChill Founding Partner Award. So I guess my role here is -- my instruction sheet is to call people up. I will break out of the formal remarks here but DuPont, please come up to the podium. And we are doing this in alphabetical order, so we are trying to -- So accepting an award on behalf of DuPont is Kevin O'Shea, who is marketing manager North America for DuPont Refrigeration. Thank you very much. Okay, we get this now. Okay. Wait, wait, wait, wait. We got this -- this is the wrong way. This is the wrong way. Now, we got it right. Okay. Thanks.

[Kevin O'Shea] Thank you, Bob. No industry knows the impact of a storm like the grocery industry. When the forecast calls for stormy weather, customers line up to get the supplies they need to weather the storm. In 1996, the mid-Atlantic region, many of you recall, was faced with a massive blizzard and as usual, people hit the stores for the usual supplies of bread, milk, and toilet paper, and somehow they made it through the storm. Similarly, in 1996, U.S. the supermarket industry faced a storm of monumental proportions when CFC refrigerants were phased out. With careful planning and efforts to reduce emissions, reclaim refrigerant, and a strategic retrofit to keep existing equipment going to the end of its useful life, the industry weathered that storm. Today, the refrigeration industry stands only 110 weeks away from another growing storm as the accelerated Montreal Protocol drops HCFC production drastically starting with January 1, 2010. Based on demand projections from EPA September 2006 draft report, DuPont estimates this reduction may bring supply to a level that is very close to demand. Add to this picture, the scheduled HCFC cap reduction in 2015, as well as the issues associated with climate change and it is clear that it is time for the industry to pull together again to weather another storm. This time around, the survival kit will need a few more tools, which brings us to why we are here today for the GreenChill Partnership Launch. Store owners can deal with potential supply issues by reducing refrigerant emissions and improving reclamation practices. They can minimize their environmental footprint and total cost of ownership through a well-planned combination of planned retrofits and new equipment selection. DuPont stands ready to help. DuPont Refrigerants markets the broadest range of non-ozone depleting alternatives for air conditioning and refrigeration applications, and we are actively working with environmental organizations, industry associations, and our customers to develop environmentally responsible alternatives both for the near and distant future. DuPont is committed to help deliver both environmentally and economically sustainable cooling solutions that can help promote a better, safer, and healthier life for people everywhere. We are pleased to be working with EPA and honored to be part of GreenChill, consistent with our continuing commitment. If we all work together, we can make it through the coming storm. Thank you.

[Bob Meyers] And now, if I could call Food Lion up to the podium. Accepting on behalf of Food Lion is Susan Sollenberger who is director of Equipment Purchasing, Maintenance, and Energy. Now I have got to -- got it right. Okay, here we go.

[Susan Sollenberger] Thank you, Bob. Food Lion is extremely proud to be one of the founding fathers to the EPA's GreenChill Partnership Program. So I look around this room, there are a lot of representatives here, a lot of great companies, and as I think about the people that we have been involved here with, I think this group of people can and will make a difference in solving the challenges that are in front of us. Food Lion's joining with EPA on the GreenChill Partnership represents a decade-long journey that we have been involved in a partnership with EPA in order to work on solutions for the environment. It has been an exciting 10 years and this is the next chapter, and we are looking forward to the challenge in front of us. I would like to thank the EPA in their leadership and perseverance in putting this program together. I know you mentioned two years, it has been a long two years and I do not think it would have happened without their perseverance and making it happen. So thank you very much.

[Bob Meyers] Thank you. Continuing in our alphabetical order, Giant Eagle, and accepting on behalf of Giant Eagle is Cliff Timko, who is Corporate Energy manager.

[Cliff Timko] Thank you, Bob. It is my pleasure today to represent Giant Eagle at the Launch of EPA's GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership. In Giant Eagle, we actively promote the responsible use of environmental resources. Giant Eagle has been an active partner with the EPA in its Energy STAR Program since 2001 and has received Partner of the Year or Sustained Excellence Awards in Energy Management for the past four consecutive years. As a partner with EPA Green Power, we have offset three percent of our chains' electrical use with renewable wind energy. And as a partner with EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, Giant Eagle was working hard to reduce the fuel consumption and emissions of its corporate fleet. The GreenChill Partnership provides another opportunity for Giant Eagle to work with the EPA in a collaborative effort between the supermarket industry and the EPA to develop technologies to help reduce or eliminate the refrigerant emissions that contribute to ozone depletion and global warming. Thank you.

[Bob Meyers] And now, we have Hannaford Bros. and accepting on their behalf is Art Aleshire, who is senior vice president for Corporate Development.

[Art Aleshire] First of all, let me say thank you, Bob, and thanks to EPA for this wonderful award. I want to thank the two guys standing next to me also, Andy Mayo, who heads up our Energy and Facilities and Construction Design, and Harrison Horning who is our Energy Director. Without them, we would not be as far along as we are. Hannaford has a long history of being at the forefront of taking care of our environment. I remember back to 1995 when there was no mandate to take out CFCs from our refrigerant systems and we thought it was the right thing to do, so we did it voluntarily. And ever since then, we have been working to find different ways we can be innovative and save our environment. And a guy that has been very influential in my career, in my thinking about the environment is actually a former EPA official. I think it was a different administration but Dan Asti [phonetic] is a fellow that has spoken at Hannaford and commiserated with me many times. And his comment that meant a lot to me at one time was that, "In trying to save the environment, taking two steps forward and one step back is not a bad business model because you really have to try new things to find out what works and what does not work, because the urgency is really compelling and we have to take those chances." And I tell you, there is no better partner over the years than the EPA and the leadership of the EPA. And of all the politics and administrative changes that go on, the core of the EPA has stood tall and really led this country in a direction that a lot of people did not want to go, and I'm glad to see that they are still leading and we are still following. So on behalf of the 26,000 Hannaford employees, on behalf of our Food Lion partners and our Delhaize Group parent company, we thank you very much.

[Bob Meyers] Thank you. And now from Harris Teeter, accepting on their behalf is Michal Shepard and director of Energy and Maintenance.

[Michal Shepard] Thanks, Bob. On behalf of Harris Teeter, I would like to thank the EPA for their diligence in this program. We look very forward and very excited about participating with both our peers and equipment manufacturers in this endeavor. So thank you.

[Bob Meyers] From Hill Phoenix, accepting on behalf is Ray Hoglund, who is president and CEO.

[Ray Hoglund] Thank you, Bob. In Hill Phoenix, we are very proud to be a founding member of the EPA GreenChill Partnership. We firmly believe that this collaborative effort, known as GreenChill, between manufacturers of equipment and chemicals, food retailers, and the EPA will lead to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. In retail applications, food safety and quality are also primary concerns, and proper refrigeration technology is necessary to make sure that happens. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the food retailers, many of whom are in this room, for their willingness to invest in these new technologies. Without your willingness to invest in these technologies, we, as manufacturers, could not experiment with new technologies in the real world, perfect their ability to properly cool the food and hold it at proper temperatures, as well as reduce the impact on the environment. Today, we have over 400 installations in the United States using the technology, also known as secondary, which is a very eco-friendly refrigerant technology. More and more it is becoming commonplace in supermarkets all across the country. We have long had minimum standards for leak reduction and leak tightness at Hill Phoenix, but we can take it to a whole another level by incorporating alternative refrigerant technologies. We are excited to participate in this industry-wide forum. I would like to emphasize that we not only do it through our product technology, but in the last year alone, at Hill Phoenix, in our factories, we reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 23 percent and we are on our way to repeat that performance again in 2007. We thank the EPA and the other food marketing institute retailers that are here today for joining us in this partnership. Thank you.

[Bob Meyers] And now, from Honeywell International, accepting on their behalf is Robert Fennell, who is their marketing manager. Robert Fennell: On behalf of Honeywell, I would like to thank the EPA for this recognition as we continue our dedication to protect the environment with a comprehensive and contemporary commitment. Honeywell designs products that conserve energy, reduce wastes and protect our homes, offices, and businesses. An example of this includes energy efficient heat transfer fluid for air conditioning and refrigeration. We offer a full line of refrigerants, including R-404A, R-507, and R-422D, three of the most popular non-ozone depleting refrigerant choice for supermarket applications. And we continue to invest in R&D for the next generation of refrigerants. Overall, Honeywell embraces its obligation of environmental stewardship through the pursuit of technologies as building a world that is safer and more secure, more comfortable and energy efficient and more innovative and productive. Thank you.

[Bob Meyers] From Kysor/Warren, accepting on their behalf is Travis Lumpkin, who is vice president of Product Development Systems CO2.

[Female Voice] I thought about trying to fake a southern accent in convincing you that I'm Travis, but I did not think it would work. They, unfortunately, called -- okay. They had mechanical difficulties with their plane, so they are going to be late and he asked me to thank the EPA and accept the award on his behalf, but please do not take my picture. Thank you. I tried to reach him; I thought maybe he could teach me his speech very quickly but I -- they must be in the air, I could not get him on his cell phone. So --

[Bob Meyers] Thank you, Travis. Now, from Publix Super Markets, accepting on their behalf is Steve Sloan, Refrigeration Energy Program manager.

[Steve Sloan] Thank you, Bob. On behalf of Publix, I would like to thank the EPA for putting a great program together like this, with the GreenChill Program and we look forward to really contributing and making some differences in our industry. Thank you.

[Bob Meyers] I'm told this happens periodically but Whole Foods is last alphabetically in the list, but we want to note that they are one of the first organizations to join GreenChill. And on behalf of Whole Foods Market is Kathy Loftus, who is Global Leader Sustainable Engineering, Maintenance and Energy Management.

[Kathy Loftus] Thank you, Bob, Bella, Julius, Jeff, and everybody at EPA that has really helped provide the direction that we need in this industry to move us forward. In Whole Foods Market, one of our five core values is caring about our community and our environment, and what better way to show further demonstration of our caring about our community than extending our partnerships with the EPA in this latest program effort, the GreenChill Program, and particularly on climate protection. So we are really excited to be among this group of incredible people, our partners in GreenChill and partners out in the industry, because we do believe that there are a lot of ways we can start to work together to manage and reduce the amount of refrigerants in our stores, but also new technologies and really helping balance what we are offering in our stores to reduce our carbon footprint and our greenhouse gas emissions. Thank you very much.

[Bob Meyers] And now, actually, I would like to relinquish my duties at the podium and turn this over to Julius Banks, who is our acting branch chief of the Alternative Emission Reduction branch.

[Julius Banks] Good afternoon. I'm very happy to be here. I'm glad to see so many familiar faces. This is a very, very good occasion, very exciting occasion for us. This has been a long time in a coming and I just cannot express how happy we are to see you all today. I want to offer congratulations and thanks to all our founding partners. I also would like to offer a special thanks to the EPA personnel who helped put this together. So if you could rise when I call your name. We will start with Dave Godwin. Yeah, he is the back there. Keilly Witman and Bella Maranion. Also, special thanks to Tim Juliani, who has left the agency but was very much involved in the early stages of the GreenChill. So Tim, if you can stand. And of course, every success starts with an idea. Many of you know me from -- by regulatory, one of the many hats I wear at the agency regulations, writing regulations under the Clean Air Act for Leak Repair Regulations, but every project, everything starts with an idea. So I really like to thank Jeff Cohen, who convinced us a few years ago that it would be possible to partner with the supermarket industries in an effort to reduce emissions, that there is more than one way to reach emissions reduction goal. So I would like to thank Jeff Cohen for his efforts in doing that. Also, two of our consultants who have helped us quite a bit, Stratos Consulting and ICF Consulting, Chuck Hare [phonetic] and Mark Wagner at the back. And, of course, Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the help that you have given and the opportunity to learn over the past five years. It has just been tremendous, the amount of experience and technical know-how that you bring together. We hope to continue that success in a number of different ways. Over the next year, we hope to what we will be doing -- not only hope but we will be going forward in quantifying the benefits of the GreenChill Partnership. We will look at ways of quantifying emissions reduction, quantifying ODS emissions reductions, as well as greenhouse gas emission reductions. Following this presentation -- immediately following, we ask that everyone meet us in the first floor lobby no later than 3 o' clock. Looks like we will be a little early so if we could, directly after this meeting, meet downstairs. We will stay in this room for about 10 or 15 minutes. We will have an opportunity to greet and meet, a little informal session, but after that, after 15-20 minutes, we will try and gather everyone downstairs to the first floor lobby where we have a shuttle that will take us to the FMI building over in Crystal City, Virginia right across the river. And we have a shuttle waiting to take everyone there. Thanks to Hill Phoenix for doing that for us. And if anyone needs transportation to Reagan National Airport, it is very close to Crystal City, we can help you get there either by metro or by the shuttle. So again, thank you all for coming and it is a pleasure to be able to do this. I do not get to do this very often so I'm very happy and just a little nervous, but very happy. So that is it. I really appreciate your help and we are looking forward to -- this is not the end, this is very much the beginning. We look forward to continuing and reaping all of the benefits of what we started here today, so thank you very much for your attendance.