Supermarket Industry Leaders Form Environmental Nonprofit for Natural Refrigerants

Broad Stakeholder Support for Sustainable Solutions

SANTA CRUZ,CA -- Environmental leaders from all sectors of the supermarket refrigeration industry today announced a new nonprofit, the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC). NASRC’s mission is to help the supermarket industry transition to natural refrigerants, which are more ozone and climate friendly than traditional refrigerants.

NASRC’s founding members are service contractors, systems manufacturers, policy specialists, component manufacturers and supermarket end-users. They include some of the biggest names in the industry: Whole Foods Market, Hillphoenix, Danfoss, Carter Retail Equipment, True Manufacturing, Parker Hannifin, KW Refrigerant Management Strategy and Source Refrigeration & HVAC, Inc.

“The purpose of the organization is to bring together stakeholders who believe that advancing natural refrigerants is a win-win for the environment and business,” said NASRC Executive Director Liz Whiteley. “Today, we finally have proven technologies that use natural refrigerants, but we need to achieve economies of scale in order to have a dramatic impact on our climate footprint.”

The refrigerants commonly used in supermarkets are up to 4,000 times more potent global warmers than carbon dioxide. Other refrigerants harm the earth’s ozone layer.

“For decades, the supermarket industry has been looking for environmentally friendly refrigerants, but the options were stop-gap measures that were still problematic,” said Keilly Witman, owner of KW Refrigerant Management Strategy. “We finally have really good options, which is very exciting.” Prior to founding KW Refrigerant Management Strategy, Witman ran the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership, which grew to encompass more than 8,500 supermarkets during her tenure.

Supermarkets have been driving refrigerant changes. Companies like Whole Foods are piloting solutions. “We have the technology. We know what needs to be done,” said Tristam Coffin, sustainable facilities coordinator at Whole Foods Market. “It's a question of overcoming hurdles so we can move ahead as fast as we'd like.”

NASRC’s first-year priorities will center on training service technicians to work with natural refrigerants; helping to establish local building codes; encouraging utilities to establish incentives for natural refrigerant use; and working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and equipment-certification organizations to speed up approval of alternative refrigerant technologies.

NASRC membership is open to supermarkets, equipment manufacturers and service contractors who want to help advance natural refrigerants in North America. For more information visit www.nasrc.org.

About NASRC

The North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council is shaping a more sustainable, climate-friendly future for supermarket refrigeration. NASRC is an action-oriented non-profit founded to increase the adoption of environmentally friendlier natural refrigerants within the supermarket refrigeration sector. Natural refrigerants have orders of magnitude less impact on the climate system than tradition fluorocarbon refrigerants.