Sainsbury’s switch to CO2 refrigeration to cut carbon

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's drive to cut its carbon footprint by 30% by 2020, against a 2005 baseline, is well underway as it switches its 100th store to CO2 refrigeration.

Part of Sainsbury’s 20 by 20 Sustainability plan, the 100th store equipped with green technology is in Ely, Cambridgeshire. The plan, which launched in 2009, aims to lower emissions in its stores through more energy efficient technologies, such as refrigeration.

The group is also looking to convert 135 stores to run on CO2 refrigeration by 2014, which it says is less “damaging” environmentally than more traditionally used ‘F-gases’ HFCs and HCFCs.

According to Sainsbury’s, the latest conversion means it has now cut its total carbon footprint by 250,000 tonnes of CO2 since the project launched.

Sainsbury’s director of store development David Sheehan, said: “When we began converting to CO2, there was a severe shortage of expertise in the engineering community. However, the work we have carried out with our refrigeration suppliers to re-train engineers and grow the market for CO2 refrigeration has been so successful that we are now able to convert our estate much more quickly.

“Cutting CO2 is a huge priority for us and addressing refrigeration in this way allows us to make the largest possible difference in the shortest possible time.”

Carys Matthews

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