Washington, D.C The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated Giant Eagle Inc. and Harris Teeter Inc. as the first winners of the GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership Environmental Achievement Award. The retailers were honored for emitting the least amount of ozone-depleting refrigerant among a group of food retailers and others that pledged to cut their emissions below the industry standard.
Giant Eagle and Harris Teeter were part of a charter group of 10 that joined the EPA’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership , which was launched in November 2007. The group, which now counts some 30 members, has achieved emissions rates that are almost 50% below the EPA’s estimated standard.
"EPA congratulates Giant Eagle and Harris Teeter for leading the field with exemplary emissions prevention and maintenance systems," Robert J. Meyers, EPA's principal deputy assistant administrator for Air and Radiation said in a statement.
According to the EPA, the GreenChill partners are responsible for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from refrigerants by an estimated 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, an amount the agency says is equivalent to the annual emissions of 500,000 cars. The firms participating in GreenChill also saved an estimated $13 million in 2007.
The EPA contends that if supermarkets across the country reduced emissions to the current GreenChill average, the grocers would save $67 million while preventing the annual emission of 13 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and 157 ozone-depleting potential (ODP) tons. ODP tons are a measure of the potency of ozone-depleting substances.