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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

02 Feb 2009 06:02:07

Supermarket action on greenhouse gases disappoints

Supermarket action on greenhouse gases disappoints
Supermarkets are not doing enough to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions according to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

A report from the agency revealed that most supermarkets continue to use gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in their fridges and freezers despite their being 7,000 times more potent in causing climate change than carbon dioxide.

The failure of the supermarkets to use more "climate-friendly" alternatives such as CO2 and ammonia was "hugely disappointing" according to report author Fionnuala Walravens.

Of the five major players Waitrose came in last place, with the report saying it gave "the impression that they were apathetic and didn't take the issue seriously", while Morrisons refused to participate.

Iceland was the worst performer of all the supermarkets, while Tesco was found to have the largest carbon footprint for its cooling.

Having revealed a shortage of engineers trained to work with climate-friendly refrigerants, the EIA called on supermarkets to train engineers.

It also urged supermarkets to make all new refrigeration climate-friendly by 2009.

Tesco recently opened a so-called eco-store in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, which does use CO2 as a coolant and has various other measures to reduce its emissions.

Asda, which the report praised for its energy efficiency schemes, opened a "low carbon" branch last year where there are doors on all fridges, freezers and chill cabinets.


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