Brussels, 21 February: As supermarket bosses gear up for next month’s EuroShop, the world’s biggest retail trade show, the spring edition of Accelerate Europe highlights how some of Europe’s biggest retailers are increasingly investing in environmentally friendly and energy-efficient natural refrigerants for stores of all sizes.
Albert Heijn – part of the Ahold Delhaize group – is leading by example. The Dutch retail giant is banking on natural refrigerants to help deliver its goal of becoming CO2-neutral by 2025. For our cover story, Accelerate Europe saw at first-hand how visionary engineers Alfard Clerc and Vincent van Dijk are testing a host of innovative new ideas at ‘Europe’s most sustainable supermarket’ in Purmerend, north of Amsterdam.
Many of Europe’s 110,000-115,000 supermarkets sadly still appear to be contributing to global warming by using hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants. Yet Albert Heijn is not alone in taking early action to rectify this. Other retail giants – including Carrefour S.A., METRO AG, Aldi Süd and the Colruyt Group – are also turning to natural refrigerants like CO2 and hydrocarbons to comply with the continent’s HFC phase-down and to benefit from the efficiency savings on offer. Accelerate Europe asked about their plans for 2017.
Our technology section shows how, thanks to the condensing unit, CO2 refrigeration is reaching areas of application that some did not believe possible. Ahead of EuroShop, this issue looks at how Japanese and European manufacturers are already overcoming the challenge of bringing CO2 to smaller stores.
Training and legislation are crucial to supporting natural refrigerant uptake. Two important new European Commission reports covered in this issue look at how standards and legislation governing the HVAC&R sector must be adapted – and training on operating natural refrigerant systems improved – to encourage wider rollout of HFC alternatives in Europe.
Features on how hydrocarbons are becoming a trend in supermarket installations, a focus on cold storage in industrial refrigeration, and a policy update from Germany rank among other highlights of this edition of Accelerate Europe.