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Windy Palm Springs Site of FMI Energy Show

Windy Palm Springs Site of FMI Energy Show

The Food Marketing Institute’s Energy & Technical Services Conference kicks off today in Palm Springs, Calif. In addition to having many streets named after celebrities (Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Gene Autry, to name a few) the Palm Springs area, a wind-swept desert, is noted for being close to hundreds of wind farms. Apparently, there’s a corridor near here that is buffeted by winds nearly all the time. So it’s fitting that the food retailing industry should be meeting here to discuss, among many other things, alternative energy sources like wind energy.

Actually, much of the Energy Show will be focused on refrigeration, as well it should be. Refrigeration leaks, after all, represent the supermarket industry’s biggest impact on the environment, contributing to both ozone-layer depletion and global warming. I suspect the session today on best practices in leak reduction should draw a crowd.

Food retailers are well under way in reducing their use of R-22, the notorious ozone-depleting refrigerant. But R-22’s replacements have the drawback of still contributing significantly to global warming, and replacements for those replacements need to be found.

GreenChill, the EPA program that many food retailers have joined, addresses all of these refrigeration issues—leaks, refrigerant charge reduction, the R-22 phase-out, and more. Any supermarket company that hasn’t signed up for this voluntary program should do so.

(Photo credit: Rob Lee)