Most retailers use natural refrigerants, says European study

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A survey shows that natural refrigerant solutions are a better investment than the HFCs (hydro- flourocarbons) system. In western and northern Europe, two-thirds of foremost retailers have chosen to execute natural refrigerant technology in their stores. est enterprise group levels of their organisations to drive carbon footprint reduction in their stores through refrigeration.

This study was commissioned by Carrier, a global leader in high-technology heating, air- conditioning and refrigeration solutions. The study found that all respondents were familiar with restrictions on F-gas use and had already, or would soon, implement them. They also indicated that the selection of technologies is increasingly influenced by the belief that carbon footprint reduction is linked to their overall business success. Around 71% of respondents stated policies have been initiated at the high enterprise group levels of their organisations to drive carbon footprint reduction in their stores through refrigeration.

Refrigeration using energy efficient systems and low Global Warming Potential refrigerants was identified as a significant environmentally friendly feature. Food retailers rated natural refrigerants as a more desirable solution than HFC system. They also believe that legislation can be a key driver in accelerating the decision-making process on sustainability activities by retailers. Respondents placed natural refrigerants on par with HFC systems in terms of reliability and safety. Natural refrigerants were also considered to be on parity in terms of return on investment (ROI) and life-cycle costs.

According to the study, the move towards holistic energy management has been particularly pronounced in Northern Europe where respondents now attach equal importance to overall energy management systems and refrigeration as potential investments to improve a store's overall energy efficiency. The study also revealed a majority (51.7%) of respondents would be willing to shorten their investment cycles to promote the uptake of more environmentally sustainable refrigeration technology.