(West Sacramento, CA, January 08, 2009) Raley’s Family of Fine Stores has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership and voluntarily committed to reducing refrigerant emissions to help fight climate change and protect the earth’s ozone layer.

“EPA is very excited to have Raley’s join the GreenChill Partnership," according to Cindy Newberg, branch chief in the Stratospheric Protection Division. “Raley’s brings a lot of technical expertise to the Partnership, and we look forward to a very productive and constructive relationship with them.”

For Raley’s, this pledge is the newest in a series of commitments to environmental responsibility. The company is already implementing a number of green activities, including: printing exclusively on recycled paper, purchasing paper from pulp mills that are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, installing advanced exhaust filtration systems in their diesel truck fleet to reduce air pollutant emissions, and recycling nearly 100,000 tons of waste per year since 1995. In addition, the company has installed solar photovoltaic panels on one of its supermarkets that will generate enough electricity to meet 20% of the facility’s demand, and is currently retrofitting each of its stores with energy-efficient “cool roofs” that reduce the stores’ air conditioning loads.

“For a number of years, Raley’s has shared the EPA’s commitment to decreasing refrigerant emissions through efficient HVAC systems and proprietary store design,” said Ed Estberg, Raley’s Sr. Director of Facilities. “This new Partnership demonstrates our commitment to being an environmentally conscious retailer and supports our mission to be good stewards of the earth.”

EPA’s GreenChill Partnership works with food retailers to promote green technologies, strategies, and practices that protect the stratospheric ozone layer, reduce greenhouse gases, and save money. Under the agreement with the EPA, Raley’s has committed to the following:

  • Require all new and remodeled stores to be free of ozone-depleting substances, in advance of the Clean Air Act phase-out requirements;
  • Establish an emissions inventory and meet annual emissions reduction targets; and
  • Develop a refrigeration management plan that lists technologies, strategies, and practices used to achieve emissions reductions goals.

According to the EPA, GreenChill partners in the food retail business have refrigerant emissions rates nearly 50% lower than the EPA-estimated industry average. These partners are responsible for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from refrigerants totaling 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide - equivalent to the annual emissions of 500,000 cars. In addition, the EPA estimates that GreenChill’s founding partners saved almost $13 million in operating costs by reducing refrigerant emissions.