Knowledge for better food systems

Chilling Facts report: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the supermarket refrigeration sector

This annual report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) focuses on the use of refrigerants with high global warming potential such as HFCs, in major supermarket chains in the UK and Europe. It investigates the progress made  in shifting towards more climate-friendly alternatives. 

The EIA report states that the use of HFCs in the retail sector is still a major cause for concern since on average, emissions from leaking refrigerant gas are still higher than those associated with energy use from the refrigeration equipment itself.  

The report highlights that progress has nevertheless been made by many supermarkets. Today hybrid technology is used in 589 cases covered in the report (meaning that they use a mixture of HFCs and natural refrigerants) while over 1000 additional stores are using HFC-free technology. 

Citation

Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Chilling Facts V: Retailers on the cusp of a global cooling revolution, September 2013.

You can download a copy of the annual report here. Foreign language versions in French, German and Spanish are also available on EIA’s website.

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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