Climate change, regulatory pressure and consumer demand have created a new sense of urgency around environmentally sustainable refrigeration. Manufacturers, vendors and food service businesses are all focused on reducing the environmental impact of commercial refrigeration systems.
Sustainable Commercial Refrigeration is in Demand
Food service business are seeking environmentally sustainable refrigeration that
consumes less power to manage runaway energy costs and avoid negatively impacting the environment. They are also managing budget constraints and thus are looking for sustainable commercial refrigeration systems with affordable up-front costs.
Consumer demand is also driving the move to sustainable refrigeration. The consumers who shop and eat at food service establishments expect them to be both socially responsible and good stewards of the environment. According to one survey, 90% of consumers said they are more likely to buy from a company that manufactures energy efficient appliances and products. In addition, 87% said they are more likely to buy from a company that commits to environmentally friendly practices.
Sustainable Commercial Refrigeration is EPA Compliant
On the regulatory side, compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations and the Clean Air Act are a high priority for equipment manufacturers and vendors. The Clean Air Act prohibits deliberately venting refrigerants. It also includes rules addressing leak prevention and repair as well as the safe disposal of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).
As a result, hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants are being phased out. The use of natural refrigerants like propane, carbon dioxide and ammonia is gaining momentum. These alternatives and other types of refrigerants with lower global warming potential (GWP) are being used more often in new equipment. EPA approved lower GWP refrigerants include ethane, isobutene and hydrocarbon blend R-441A.
Sustainable Commercial Refrigeration is Proactive
Some commercial refrigeration system manufacturers are being proactive and factoring sustainability into equipment design and production. This approach is producing innovative models deploying the latest technology. Examples of these innovations can be seen in equipment using low energy compressors, LED lights and self-closing doors on display units. This generates long-term savings for foodservice operators and promotes energy conservation.
Sustainable refrigeration not only includes producing models with higher efficiency standards, it also includes a focus on green manufacturing. Green manufacturing uses parts made from recycled materials and reduces the environmental footprint created in the production of commercial refrigeration products.
Seek out a commercial refrigeration system vendor that is committed to environmental sustainability. They can help your food service business identify equipment that is EPA compliant and has the highest performance standards. They also have trained technicians who can service equipment in order to extend the system’s life cycle and decrease emissions and leaks. Each of these factors contributes to sustaining the environment while meeting the needs of food service customers.