PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Food Lion has unveiled here what it describes as the nation's first grocery store to incorporate two ozone-friendly product refrigeration systems.
Both systems, based on secondary-coolant technology, reduce by more than 60% the amount of refrigerants needed to keep products cool or frozen. One of the systems uses water and glycol in a medium-temperature unit, while the other employs carbon dioxide for low-temperature cooling.
The chain, owned by Brussels-based Delhaize Group, has tested the systems in two other stores, but this 6-week-old store is the first to feature both of the systems, which are supplied by Hill Phoenix, Conyers, Ga. A store in Dinwiddie, Va., opened in early 2006 with the medium-temperature secondary-coolant system, while a second store, which opened in late 2006 in Montpelier, Va., uses the low-temperature secondary-coolant system.
Food Lion is also participating in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership with the supermarket industry, a program that's aimed at curbing refrigerant leaks, transitioning stores to non-ozone-depleting refrigerants and testing advanced refrigeration technology.
“We're proud to be a leader in testing and incorporating advanced refrigeration technologies the same way we've led the grocery industry in energy conservation strategies,” said Kyle Mitchell, Food Lion's vice president of store development, in a statement. “Our goal is to make insightful operating choices today to protect the environment and sustain the communities in which we operate for years to come.”
Food Lion hosted an event on May 22 to unveil the refrigeration systems. During the event, attended by EPA officials and executives from other food retailers, chain executives demonstrated the refrigeration system's features, discussed energy-efficient store technologies and unveiled a new biodiesel generator designed to run off cooking oils, such as those used by the store's deli.
Also during the event, Food Lion announced that its 725th store, located in Chesapeake, Va., has earned the Energy Star designation from the EPA for superior energy performance and management.
Food Lion owns more than half of the roughly 1,300 U.S. Energy Star supermarkets.