Weis Markets announced three new stores it is building will incorporate technologies and systems reducing store refrigerant charges (usage) to 50% less than a typical supermarket, thus decreasing their impact on the ozone layer and climate change.
In recent weeks, Weis Markets has begun the construction of superstores in three Pennsylvania locations: Bellefonte (Centre County), West Lawn (Berks County) and Fork Township (Northampton County).
The announcement was made at an award ceremony at Weis Markets’ Carlisle Street store in Hanover. This unit was the first supermarket in the state of Pennsylvania to earn a certification award from the GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, a voluntary Environmental Protection Agency alliance with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions. Keilly Witman, manager of EPA’s GreenChill Partnership presented an award to Weis Markets for achieving these standards.
“Reducing the environmental impact of our stores is a key part of being a good neighbor and we are committed to doing so in the years ahead,” said Kevin Small, Weis Markets’ Vice President, Construction and Development. “As a long-time proponent of sustainability and recycling, we have embraced the next generation of technology that will allow us to reduce our carbon footprint and operate our stores more efficiently. We plan for these three new stores to achieve GreenChill certification.”
“Weis’ commitment to achieve GreenChill’s certification standards for three new stores proves that the company is serious about its role in protecting the ozone layer and preventing climate change ,” said Keilly Witman, manager of EPA’s GreenChill Partnership. “It is important that companies understand that helping the environment doesn’t end with one store. It has to become the business model of the future.”
To achieve GreenChill’s silver certification, a store must meet stringent environmental criteria, including the following:
-use refrigerants that do not damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer;
-reduce the size of its refrigerant charge by at least 50 percent from the industry average;
-reduce annual refrigerant emissions to 15 percent or less of total store capacity;
-test refrigeration systems for adherence to GreenChill’s leak tightness guidelines.
The Hanover store attained a “silver” certificate by installing a glycol refrigeration system reducing the refrigerant charge to less than half that of a typical supermarket. Just 35 of the nation’s 35,000 grocery stores have received GreenChill Store Certification awards, according to the EPA.
Meeting or exceeding GreenChill certification criteria will help prevent deterioration of the Earth’s protective ozone layer and is combating climate change, the EPA says. Ozone in the upper atmosphere protects the planet from harmful ultraviolet radiation, which can cause skin cancer, cataracts and other ailments. But even refrigerants that don’t damage the ozone layer can contribute significantly to global warming. That’s why reducing store emissions is doubly important, the EPA adds.