John Lewis Partnership confirms commitment to hydrocarbons in new and refurbished systems

By Klara Skačanová, Nov 21, 2013, 14:34 2 minute reading

According to its 2013 Sustainability Report, the John Lewis Partnership has not met its target of halving emissions from refrigeration by 2012/13 against the baseline in 2008/09. To catch up on these shortcomings, the retailer has set a new target to only use refrigerants with a GWP below 10 in new and refurbished refrigeration systems, while confirming that hydrocarbon water-cooled refrigeration is their low-carbon natural solution of choice.

The latest John Lewis Sustainability report highlights that installing hydrocarbon water-cooled refrigeration systems saves considerably on gas and electricity and radically reduces the impact of refrigerant gas losses. The Partnership has chosen to pioneer water-cooled refrigeration to ensure the re-use of waste energy is maximised and cold air retrieval to replace air-conditioning is efficiently used. Today, just under a third of Waitrose shops operate with natural refrigerants.

“Our ambition is to radically reduce our refrigeration and cooling emissions. Our low carbon natural refrigeration solution remains the solution of choice for all new buildings, major refurbishment projects or end of life replacement,” said Jim Burnett, General Manager, Engineering, at Waitrose.

Emissions reduction from refrigeration – vital aspect of overall carbon reduction plan

Leakage in Waitrose shops increased by almost 9% in 2012/13 compared to the year before, which meant the retailer was far from reaching its short-term target of reducing emissions by 50% by the end of 2012/13 against the 2008/09 baseline. The sustainability report argues that the shortfall is a result of a smaller capital investment in equipment replacement in existing shops than was originally planned. In addition, due to an increased focus on leak detection more leaks were discovered, which further raised the measured emissions.

Increased investment in hydrocarbon systems in 2013/14

In order to address the refrigeration emissions increase and help get the retailer back on track, in 2013/14, the predicted estate refurbishment spending will double compared to 2012/13. This investment will fund low-carbon natural refrigeration installations reducing the volume and impact of leakage; resulting in fewer CO2e emissions.

The retailer has set two new targets in the area of refrigeration:
  • From 2013/14, only refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) of less than 10 will be used in new and replacement refrigeration systems.
  • Contain the existing refrigerant gases within the estate to a leakage rate of no more than 10 % of the entrained volume by 2015.

In the field of transport refrigeration, the focus will continue to be on seeking out low-GWP refrigerants, reducing refrigerant refill size and leakage, and reducing emissions from the dedicated engines, which drive mobile refrigeration equipment.

State-of-the-art refrigeration systems will further reduce emissions and cost

Waitrose Chipping Sodbury, which opened in October 2013, features the latest energy saving technology, including the new generation of water-cooled refrigeration system that is expected to further reduce emissions and running costs. The next generation of refrigeration systems will also be installed at the Waitrose Burgess Hill extension and Newbury refurbishment projects. This is expected to produce a reduction in electricity demand of approximately 22% compared to the installation of a standard low carbon water-cooled system.


By Klara Skačanová

Nov 21, 2013, 14:34

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