Aldi stores in Webster and West Carthage, New York, earned platinum GreenChill certification — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s highest sustainability award for food retailers — because of their investment in refrigeration systems that use natural refrigerants.

To achieve this milestone, the two stores installed Hillphoenix Advansor CO2 Booster Systems, which use carbon dioxide-based refrigerant with a global-warming potential (GWP) rating of 1. By comparison, an HFC-based refrigerant can have a GWP rating as high as 3985. The ALDI stores also installed Hillphoenix closed-door refrigerated cases equipped with energy-conserving technology. 

GreenChill is a voluntary program that aims to reduce the use of environmentally harmful hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) in commercial refrigeration. More than 11,000 food retail stores in the U.S. are GreenChill partners, but only 12 have been certified as Platinum stores.

Tom Land, manager of EPA’s GreenChill Partnership, said achieving GreenChill certification is good for the environment and for grocers’ business. “What we’ve seen through our GreenChill program is that consumers want to shop in stores that share their environmental values. By being dedicated to GreenChill standards, these stores demonstrate their interest in maintaining environmentally sustainable operations.”

The Webster and West Carthage Aldi locations are among more than 50 stores that installed Hillphoenix Advansor CO2 Booster systems in 2015. Hillphoenix was a founding member of the GreenChill Partnership and this year received its fifth GreenChill award since the program began in 2007.