7-Eleven adopting eco-friendly refrigerant in U.S. and Canada

7-Eleven is taking another step toward reducing its environmental footprint.

The convenience-store giant is adopting Honeywell’s lower global-warming potential (GWP) alternative for retail refrigeration, Solstice N40 (R-448A), as its standard for remote condensers supporting their refrigeration cases installed across the United States and Canada. 7-Eleven also selected Solstice N40 for retail refrigeration in Japan last year, becoming the first leading retail chain in the country to adopt the refrigerant. Solstice N40 is the most widely accepted, lowest GWP, nonflammable replacement for R-404A in stores globally.

7-Eleven, which aims to reduce its energy footprint in stores by 20% by 2027, has already invested in several energy and sustainability programs to increase efficiency, reduce waste and resource consumption.

"In the past few years, we've implemented several innovative measures, such as LED lighting, energy management systems, wind energy in select stores and high-efficiency HVAC units to reduce our CO2 emissions," said Ann Scott, 7-Eleven director of energy, engineering and store planning. "The use of Solstice N40 is an environmentally preferable alternative for 7-Eleven. Joining forces with Honeywell, which also embraces a mindset and goal to serve as environmental stewards, was a natural fit."

7-Eleven set measurable corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals in 2016 to reduce its environmental footprint. The company's CSR mission has three focus areas – planet, products and people. Using 2015 as a baseline, 7-Eleven committed to continuing to reduce its carbon footprint and increase community engagement in the U.S. and Canada by concentrating on energy, packaging and philanthropy

Based on hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) technology, Solstice N40 offers GWP that is approximately 60% lower than legacy HFC refrigerants like R-404A. In addition, Solstice N40 also consumes less energy. In the U.S. and European supermarket trials, in comparison to R-404A, Solstice N40 demonstrated an average of 5% lower energy consumption in low-temperature applications and between 5% to 15% lower energy consumption in medium-temperature applications.