US multinational retail giant Walmart has revealed it has opened its first US store to use transcritical CO2 (R744) in Yaphank, New York, located on Long Island.
In a climate briefing note for fiscal year 2022, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company noted that the Yaphank Supercenter, which opened in November 2021, “is the first to fully utilize the CO2 technology for store refrigeration needs.
Walmart also operates more than 100 facilities (stores and distribution centers) using “ultra-low GWP refrigerants,” including CO2, glycol and ammonia / NH3 (R717), he said in the climate note, adding: “We use such systems in new construction where commercially available.” Ammonia is used in distribution center systems, while in other stores CO2 and glycol are used as secondary refrigerants.
Walmart acknowledged in the climate note that most of its systems in the United States use high-GWP refrigerants. “These systems must be converted to low-GWP systems to achieve our zero emissions goal,” the company said. “Our strategy is to replace these systems when they reach end of life, balancing the investment and replacement schedule with our zero emissions commitments.”
Refrigerant emissions contributed approximately 54% of Walmart’s Scope 1 (direct) GHG emissions (and 24% of its overall operational emissions) in 2020, increasing 8.4% from 2019 to 2020.” Our analysis data suggests that the increase was primarily due to increased maintenance of equipment using R404A, which has not yet been converted to a low global warming potential (GWP) alternative,” the company said.
Walmart said it supports the US AIM Act, which authorizes the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to gradually reduce the use of high-GWP refrigerants. “This would support the market changes needed to implement low-GWP systems at scale and at a reasonable cost,” Walmart said.
Walmart submitted a letter to the EPA supporting regulatory measures for stationary refrigeration equipment that are “environmentally effective, such as limiting new commercial systems with charges greater than 50 lb (22.7 kg) to refrigerants with a GWP of 150 or less.
In March, Walmart Canada, a division of Walmart in the United States that operates 408 stores across Canada, including 71 in Quebec, announced plans to open a 140,000 square foot store2 (13,006.4m2) store in the summer of 2023 in Montreal which will use a transcritical CO2 system.
Walmart has come under considerable criticism for continuing to use large amounts of HFC refrigerant. In 2019, responding to a public campaign by the NGO Green America urging it to reduce its emissions of HFC refrigerants, Walmart said many of its stores were “almost HFC-free” and that it was transitioning to low-GWP refrigerants in new and existing systems.
Last year, at a shareholder meeting, 5.5% of Walmart investors – a significant percentage – voted in favor of a proposal calling on the company to accelerate its plans to reduce refrigerants discharged by its customers. operations, especially HFCs.
“Our strategy is to replace these systems when they reach end of life, balancing the investment and replacement schedule with our zero emissions commitments.”
Walmart’s Fiscal Year 2022 Climate Report
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