Waitrose cools down refrigeration emissions

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Waitrose has reduced average carbon dioxide emissions caused by refrigeration and cooling by 26 per cent compared to 2008/09 levels, according to the John Lewis Partnership CSR report.

Around 16 per cent of the Partnership’s carbon footprint comes from refrigeration and cooling, with Waitrose responsible for 93 per cent of these emissions.

It has pledged to halve Waitrose’s refrigeration and cooling direct emissions by 2012/13 compared to last year’s levels.

As part of this, the supermarket completed a five-year programme to phase out ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) refrigerants in 2009 ahead on the EU ban on hydrofluorocarbons (HFC).

To achieve this it started to fit a new refrigeration system that uses a water and propane-based natural refrigerant, which claims to be more reliable and uses 20 per cent less energy compared to an equivalent shop operating with traditional systems.

A further 25 shops are set to install the new system by the end of 2010 and it will be rolled out in all shops by 2020.

The Partnership will also be launching a number of other initiatives including a leak prevention programme, trials of HFC-free options for transport refrigeration, and the implementation of sub-metering for refrigeration, lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning in all new Waitrose shops.

The move comes as part of John Lewis’ carbon footprint reduction programme. Despite sales growing by seven per cent in 2009/10, the company’s total emissions increased by less than two per cent during the same period, which equates to a 30 per cent like-for-like reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions on a normalised basis.

The group plans to double in size over the next ten years so is keen to decouple growth from carbon emissions.

Within transport and distribution, the Partnership’s fleet generated four per cent more CO2 equivalent emissions last year, however this was offset by a reduction in other areas.

The company plans to reduce emissions in transport by driving fewer miles more efficiently, increasing backhauling on empty vehicles and consolidating loads to avoid unnecessary journeys.

Plans to improve efficiency include the Driver CPC and in-cab telematics, which alone could save 4.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide per vehicle each year – equivalent to four per cent overall.

The company has also adopted multi-deck trucks for John Lewis deliveries and will be expanding their use for Waitrose deliveries.

Additionally, five electric vehicles have been ordered for home deliveries within London.

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