Halle, Belgium, 2015-11-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — New step in CO2 reduction plan: a 20% decrease in relative emissions by 2020
Colruyt Group is switching to cooling installations that operate on natural propane gas and that emit as much as 90% fewer greenhouse gases than the current ones. The group will eventually outfit all 360 Colruyt, OKay, and Bio-Planet stores in Belgium with these installations. This will decrease the retailer’s total greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium by 10%. “By choosing propane cooling, Colruyt Group is once again taking a big step in realising their own goals for the environment: a 20% decrease of the greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, as relative to 2009”, says project engineer Collin Bootsveld.
30 times less cooling agent
The retailer mainly made this decision because propane cooling systems have a low impact on the environment. During their entire existence, these systems emit 90% fewer greenhouse gases than the traditional installations that operate on the current synthetic cooling agent. Project engineer Collin Bootsveld: “We decided on a compact type of propane cooling that contains 30 times less cooling agent than traditional systems. Moreover, almost no propane is lost due to leakage. Should any propane escape after all, it will be thousand times less harmful to the atmosphere than a synthetic cooling agent.”
For all food stores
The new Bio-Planet store in Bergen will be the first to have this type of propane cooling system, that the group wants to install in all food stores. Bio-Planet Hasselt will follow in March 2016 and by mid 2016 all new Colruyt and OKay stores. From 2017 onwards, the old cooling installations in existing stores will be replaced when other renovations are taking place. The retailer hopes to have converted around 90 of their stores by 2020 in this manner. Once all the old installations using synthetic cooling agents have been removed, the group’s total greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium will have been decreased by 10%. “Moreover, the cooling system will also help us to further decrease the heating emissions”, says Bootsveld. “We will recover the heat produced by the system and use it to heat the stores. Then we will have to use fewer fossil fuels to do that.”
Colruyt Group has been working on decreasing the environmental impact of its cooling system for quite a while. For instance, the industrial cooling installations in the Belgian distribution centres have been operating on ammonia since 1999. This substance has no environmental impact. Bootsveld: “For our food stores, we were the first in Belgium to test propane cooling in 2013. And late last year we made the decision to switch to propane everywhere. Because of this, we are pioneers in the field and we have therefore invested in a test installation, so our cooling technicians can become familiar with propane cooling.”
With this initiative, Colruyt Group is years ahead of European legislation as well. According to a European regulation from earlier this year, no new cooling systems operating on the current synthetic cooling agent may be installed from 2020 onwards.
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SOURCE: Colruyt Group