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U.S. EPA honors Sprouts Farmers Market in Westlake Village as platinum–level GreenChill partner for environmental achievements

Release Date: 05/17/2011
Contact Information: GreenChill: Keilly Witman, Witman.keilly@epa.gov, 202-343-9742; Francisco Arcaute. (213) 244-1815, Cell (213) 798-1404, arcaute.francisco@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – At a community welcoming event held by Sprouts Farmer’s Market’s new store in Westlake, Calif., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership awarded the Sprouts store its Platinum Certification Award, EPA’s highest honor – and a California first – for green refrigeration.

GreenChill was created by EPA in 2007, partnering with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change. The partnership works with food retailers to transition to more environmentally friendly refrigerants, reduce the amount of refrigerant used in stores, and eliminate harmful refrigerant leaks.

“Sprouts Farmers Market is one of just three grocers in the nation to achieve platinum certification from the GreenChill Partnership,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Adminstrator for the Pacific Southwest. "By protecting the ozone layer, this market proves that good business can be green business."

GreenChill’s Store Certification Program recognizes supermarkets’ achievement in preventing these harmful emissions with silver, gold, and platinum-level certification awards. A silver-certified store prevents at least 65%, and a gold-certified store prevents at minimum 75% of the refrigerant emissions of an average store. There have only been two other platinum-level store awards, which were certified to prevent 95% of an average store’s emissions. So far, both platinum stores have been completely leak free.

Sprouts has eight certified stores in California, Texas, and Colorado. The company was the first GreenChill partner to publicly state their goal to achieve store certification for every new store they build.

To achieve EPA’s GreenChill Platinum-Level certification, a store must meet stringent environmental criteria, including the following:

∑ Only use refrigerants that do not damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer.

∑ Reduce the size of its refrigerant charge by at least 85% percent from the industry average.

∑ Reduce annual refrigerant emissions to 5% percent or less of total store capacity.

∑ Achieve 100% leak tightness at installation, following GreenChill's Leak Tightness Guideline.

EPA estimates that GreenChill partners’ corporate-wide refrigerant emissions are 50 percent lower than the industry average. If every supermarket in the nation reduced their emissions to the average GreenChill store rate of 12 percent, the industry would save more than $100 million in refrigerant costs alone annually, while saving the equivalent of 22 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and 240 tons of ozone-depleting substances every year. The greenhouse gas impact of an average store’s refrigerant leaks is higher than the greenhouse emissions from a store’s annual total electricity consumption.

For more information on EPA’s GreenChill Partnership visit www.epa.gov/greenchill.


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