Aldi U.S. has received a 2018 Store Certification Excellence award from the Environmental Protection Agency's GreenChill Partnership as the grocery retailer with the most GreenChill store certifications in the past year.
The Batavia, Ill.-based hard discount grocer said Tuesday that the award recognizes its efforts to promote sustainable refrigeration in its U.S. stores, which now number more than 1,900 in the United States. Through June 2019, the chain had 238 GreenChill store certifications and recertifications nationwide, with the locations receiving the highest-level Platinum ratings.
"Over the last year, Aldi has transitioned to natural refrigerants (CO2) in hundreds of stores as part of our journey toward environmentally sustainable refrigeration systems," Aaron Sumida, vice president at Aldi, said in a statement. "This recognition from the GreenChill Partnership is an important celebration of our journey as we continue to make strides in reducing our carbon emissions and finding innovative renewable solutions."
The EPA's GreenChill Partnership aims to help supermarkets migrate to more eco-friendly refrigerants, reduce harmful carbon emissions, and adopt greener refrigeration technologies and environmental best practices to lower their impact on the ozone layer and climate change.
Aldi received its first GreenChill certification in 2015. For a store to qualify for GreenChill certification, it must meet the partnership's criteria on the type of refrigerants used, refrigerant emissions and refrigerant charge. The grocer noted that its Store Certification Excellence award signifies the company’s commitment to meet the high sustainability standards.
"If every supermarket reduced its leak levels to the GreenChill average, the supermarket industry could reduce emissions by about 30 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent every year," commented Tom Land, manager of EPA's GreenChill program. "The Store Certification Excellence award not only demonstrates the breadth of corporate responsibility efforts at ALDI, but a commitment to environmentally sustainable refrigeration systems."
Aldi said the company is making its U.S. supermarkets more environmentally friendly as part of a five-year, $5 billion-plus capital investment in new and remodeled stores. These stores feature eco-friendly building supplies, such as recycled materials, energy-saving LED lighting, and energy-efficient refrigerated systems and HVAC units.
Along with GreenChill-related actions with refrigeration systems, Aldi has cut carbon emissions via increased use of solar energy. The company said that, in 2018, solar production at Aldi prevented the release of CO2 emissions equal to those created by an average car driving across the U.S. 12,427 times, or burning 15.6 million pounds of coal.