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Communicating Best Practices for Refrigerant Management


Highlights

  • Some commercial refrigerants deplete the ozone layer and contribute to climate change.
  • Abt helps the GreenChill program promote best practices for refrigerant management.
  • On average, GreenChill partner emissions rates are approximately 50 percent of the industry standard.
The Challenge

Commercial refrigeration systems in the United States use a range of synthetic and natural refrigerants. Many synthetic refrigerants deplete the ozone layer and contribute to climate change. Some of these refrigerants–such as hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs–have effects on climate change that are several thousand times stronger than carbon dioxide. EPA is working with food retailers to reduce these effects.

The Approach

EPA’s GreenChill is a voluntary partnership program with the goal of helping food retailers reduce refrigerant emissions by implementing lower refrigerant charge sizes, eliminating leaks, and adopting best practices in refrigerant management. Since 2010, Abt Associates has supported GreenChill through a variety of activities, including:

  • Managing annual partner data reporting activities, including collecting data from the partners, analyzing the data, and generating customized benchmark reports for each partner.
  • Hosting a monthly webinar series on best practices for reducing the environmental impacts of supermarket refrigeration;
  • Developing communications materials and assisting with press releases and other media support;
  • Coordinating the annual GreenChill Environmental Achievements Recognition Ceremony.
The Results

Over the past 11 years, GreenChill Partnership companies have transitioned to environmentally friendly refrigerants, reduced the amount of refrigerant they use, and reduced their refrigerant emissions rates to almost 50 percent of the industry standard. In addition, there are now nearly 11,000 stores in the GreenChill partnership.

After collecting data from partners, Abt helps EPA analyze and visualize partnership-wide data trends, including changes in emissions rates, refrigerant use, and system types over time.

In 2018, Abt helped publish this information in a 10-Year Progress Report.