Communicating Best Practices for Refrigerant Management
- Most commercial refrigerants are significant contributors 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.
Commercial refrigeration systems in the United States use a range of synthetic and natural refrigerants. Some synthetic refrigerants–such as hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs–have effects on climate change that are several thousand times stronger than carbon dioxide. Moreover, these refrigerants are costly to replace when they are leaked, and commercial refrigeration systems often have high leak rates. Reducing emissions of HFCs and transitioning to environmentally friendlier alternatives can help mitigate climate change and save food retailers money. EPA is working with food retailers to reduce these effects.
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.
- Tracking program accomplishments over time.
- 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.
Over the past decade, 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 more than 12,000 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.