News Releases from Region 03
Weis Markets Wins GreenChill Awards for Smart Refrigerant Management
PHILADELPHIA (October 1, 2020) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership recently 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.
Weis Markets of Sunbury, Pennsylvania received awards in both the Goal Achievement and Superior Goal Achievement categories. Founded in 1912, Weis Markets now operates 198 stores in seven eastern states. When Weis Markets joined the GreenChill Partnership in 2008, its refrigeration leak rate was 18.3%. By 2019, thanks to multi-faceted leak prevention and reduction efforts, focused on using high-quality equipment, training, supervision, and a technician incentive plan, that leak rate has been reduced to 7.2%.
“We congratulate Weis Markets for their significant accomplishments in reducing the environmental impact of commercial refrigeration systems,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio “Weis Markets and all of the awardees are leading the way in both using advanced refrigeration technologies and preventing refrigeration leaks. Reducing refrigerant emissions protects the environment, helps stores save money and enables lower costs to consumers for groceries.”
“Today, our associates are working to operate efficiently by conserving energy and reducing waste—an area of particular importance for us at a time when one-third of all food is thrown away,” said Weis Markets Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis. “Our overall goal is steady, measurable progress. We will continue to invest in our sustainability program in 2020 and work to reduce our overall environmental impact in the communities we serve.”
GreenChill Partners in the food retail industry demonstrate a commitment to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the environment. On average, GreenChill Partners maintain corporate-wide emissions rates that are approximately half the industry average. EPA thanks all its partners for leading the industry in environmentally friendly refrigeration systems.
GreenChill’s Store Certification Program recognized certain stores for meeting strict performance criteria that demonstrate their refrigeration systems have minimal impacts on the ozone layer and climate system.
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 GreenChill’s 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 who worked tirelessly to serve the public while keeping stores a safe environment for everyone.
Learn more about GreenChill and today’s recognition recipients: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/greenchill
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