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Retail Giant Ups Its Cool Factor

Tesco's refrigeration section keeps food fresh and achieves environmental goals 


In the middle of summer, you can really appreciate the cool air in the refrigeration section of the produce, dairy and frozen foods at the supermarket.

That chill is something that Tesco, one of the world’s largest supermarket chains is upgrading. The retail giant has set several environmental goals, and one of them is aimed at achieving significant carbon reduction from refrigeration systems. 

Tesco is replacing its current high global-warming-potential (high-GWP) R-404A refrigerant with Honeywell’s Solstice® N40. By converting 1,200 stores to Solstice N40—and utilizing the lower global-warming-potential (GWP) of the new refrigerant—Tesco can lower the carbon footprint of these stores by up to 40 percent. This is equivalent to removing 70,000 cars from the road over the next three years.  

“We set aggressive sustainability goals and were committed to achieving them without impacting our customers,” said Matthew Reeves-Smith, group head of refrigeration and HVAC at Tesco. “We sought the best technology to convert 1,200 stores in three years and found our solution in Solstice N40. This refrigerant meets all our key criteria including energy efficiency, system performance and maintenance. The fact that it is a near drop-in replacement for our current refrigerant helps ensure a smooth, ongoing conversion process over the next three years.” 

Refrigeration can account for as much as 50 percent of a supermarket’s energy use. In supermarket trials conducted in the U.S. and Europe, Solstice N40 also demonstrated up to 16 percent lower energy consumption in various refrigerator and freezer applications, compared with R-404A. 

“More and more supermarket companies are using Solstice N40 in large-scale store conversions, as it is the ideal solution to help meet their energy efficiency and sustainability goals,” said Robert Kebby, refrigeration global business manager for Honeywell Fluorine Products. 

Global adoption of Solstice products has resulted in the reduction of more than 44 million metric tons of greenhouse gases to date, the equivalent of eliminating emissions from more than 9 million vehicles on the road. Honeywell estimates that increasing global adoption of Solstice products can reduce emissions by an equivalent of 475 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2025, the equivalent of removing 100 million cars from the road for one year.

To see how many tons of CO2 equivalent emissions are saved through use of Solstice products, check out our Honeywell Climate Ticker