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News Releases from Region 09

EPA’s GreenChill Program Celebrates Smart Refrigerant Management at Bay Area Sprouts Farmers Markets

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Alejandro Diaz (

SAN FRANCISCO — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership announced 22 awards to nine supermarket industry organizations and one advanced refrigeration system manufacturer for exceptional achievements to reduce the impacts of commercial refrigeration systems on the environment in 2019. The Oakland and San Rafael Sprouts Farmers Markets received this honor.

“We congratulate the awardees for their significant accomplishments in reducing the impact of commercial refrigeration systems,” said Anne L. Austin, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “These organizations are leading the way in both the use of advanced refrigeration technologies and the prevention of refrigeration leaks. Reducing refrigerant emissions protects the environment and helps stores save money at the same time, a benefit that can be passed on to their customers.”

"These award-winning Sprouts stores are a fantastic example of the innovation that can be accomplished when government partners with business to protect the environment and save money at the same time," said EPA Regional Administrator John Busterud.  "We are proud to recognize these innovative stores."

GreenChill Partners in the food retail industry demonstrate a commitment to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the environment. EPA thanks all Partners for leading the industry in environmentally friendly refrigeration systems. 

Eleven stores were recognized for achieving GreenChill certification for five consecutive years nationwide.  Between 2014 and 2019, Sprouts Farmers Markets in Oakland and San Rafael have received GreenChill certification.

GreenChill is a voluntary partnership program that works cooperatively with the food retail industry to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the environment. Leaky systems can come at a high price, requiring retailers to pay for replacement refrigerant, system maintenance, and repairs. Reducing leaks is also beneficial to the environment, as some refrigerants deplete the stratospheric ozone layer and are potent greenhouse gases. In addition to reducing leaks, GreenChill participants are transitioning to environmentally friendlier refrigerants and adopting advanced refrigeration technologies.  

Participation in the Corporate Emissions Reduction Program (the Partnership) has grown significantly since the program launched in 2007. The number of stores included in the Partnership has nearly tripled from 4,500 to 12,600; in 2019, the Partnership represented more than 30 percent of the U.S. food retail industry. On average, GreenChill Partners maintain corporate-wide emissions rates that are approximately half the industry average.

Participation in the GreenChill Store Certification Program for Food Retailers also continues to grow. In 2019, there were nearly 600 GreenChill certified stores throughout the nation, a 56 percent increase from 2018. From the beginning of the program in 2008 through 2019, the GreenChill Store Certification Program has issued more than 1,800 certifications to over 830 individual stores.

EPA recognizes the role of our nation’s supermarket industry and the many essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic that worked tirelessly to serve the public while keeping stores a safe environment for everyone.

Learn more about GreenChill and today’s recognition recipients:

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