GRAND MARAIS—In striving to protect both the ozone layer and climate system, the Cook County Whole Foods Co-op’s refrigeration practices have brought national attention to town again. For the second consecutive year, the Co-op was recognized for its achievements in reducing harmful refrigerant emissions. The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) GreenChill Partnership presented the Co-op with the Best Emissions Rate award for achieving the lowest refrigerant emissions rate among small supermarket Partners. The announcement was made by EPA during its annual GreenChill Recognition Event, which was held virtually this year on September 24.
“We congratulate Cook County Whole Foods Co-op for their achievements as a GreenChill Partner,” said Kirsten Cappel, GreenChill program manager. “This is the second year in a row that the Co-op has received this recognition, demonstrating their sustained commitment to environmental protection by reducing their refrigerant emissions. We applaud the Co-op for their environmental leadership.”
Reducing the impact of harmful refrigerant emissions is important for protecting the environment and also benefits public health. If every supermarket in the United States met the GreenChill Partners’ average emissions of refrigerants, the supermarket industry would save more than $160 million in refrigerant replacement costs and reduce annual refrigerant emissions by 30 million metrics tons carbon dioxide, equivalent to 3.4 million homes’ energy use for one year. The Co-op is proud to be part of the group of supermarkets leading the industry in reducing refrigerant emissions and transitioning to environmentally-friendlier refrigerants.
Cook County Whole Foods Co-op strives to fulfil its goal of being a leader in environmentally sustainable practices in multiple ways: green refrigeration operation and maintenance practices, triple-glazed windows, more insulation than required by code, energy-efficient lighting, a system that recovers heat from refrigeration to heat water and the building, and solar panels. As a result of these practices, Grand Marais continues to be a more environmentally-friendly place. The Co-op wants customers and owners to be proud of the fact that it actively does its best to protect the environment.
EPA’s GreenChill Partnership works with supermarkets to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their environmental impacts. The Partnership helps supermarkets transition to environmentally-friendlier refrigerants; reduce harmful refrigerant emissions; and adopt greener refrigeration technologies and environmental best practices. There are more than 12,600 GreenChill Partner stores throughout the nation.