Large Asian retailer leading the way in HFC phase-out

By Sabine Lobnig, Apr 06, 2012, 00:00 2 minute reading

AEON, one of the largest Asian retailers with stores under several different brands in Japan, China, and Malaysia, has published a “Natural Refrigerants Declaration”, outlining a pathway to gradual phase-out of HFCs. Member of the Consumer Goods Forum AEON is committed to using natural refrigerants in all new stores from 2015 onwards, while also progressively converting all 3,500 existing stores.

In November 2010, the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) agreed to begin phasing out HFC refrigerants as of 2015 and replace them with “non-HFC refrigerants (natural refrigerant alternatives) where these are legally allowed and available for new purchases of point-of-sale units and large refrigeration installations”.

One year later, in November 2011, one of its members, large Asian retailer AEON, is moving forward by publishing a "Natural Refrigerants Declaration", laying down the path to the gradual phase-out of HFCs.

The Declaration states:

Aeon has started to convert freezing and cooling showcases to natural refrigerants throughout the group's stores. First efforts are concentrated in the domestic retail sector. From 2015 on, all new stores will feature natural refrigerant systems, while the 3,500 existing stores will be progressively converted. Aeon has taken the initiative to introduce natural refrigerants but aspires to work with policy and industry partners to facilitate system installations, amend regulations, lower initial costs, spread the technology and this way contribute to the fight against climate change.

More clearly, 10% of all new stores in 2012 will only use natural refrigerants, 15% of all new stores in 2013, 25% of all new stores in 2014, and finally 100% of all new stores from 2015 onwards. Also, the 3,500 existing stores will be gradually converted.

Testing CO2 showcases since 2009

In August 2009, AEON installed for testing purposes at the Maxvalu Express Rokugodote Ekimae supermarket store in Tokyo a CO2 direct expansion refrigeration system developed by Sanyo for supermarket freezer showcases. Since then, the retailer has worked closely with Sanyo in improving the system. 

About AEON

AEON Group or Æon Group (イオングループ) is a group of retail and financial services companies based in Chiba, Japan. It has sister companies in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, and also trades under the JUSCO name. It is ranked as the second largest Japanese retailer by sales in the Fortune Global 500 rankings and 10th worldwide in the retail food and drug store category.

AEON operates more than 292 JUSCO large scale general merchandise stores throughout Japan as well as in Malaysia, Thailand and China. They operate 361 Supermarket outlets - mostly known under the MaxValu logo. ÆON's alliance is the biggest Drug Store chain in Japan and runs more than 2,000 Convenience Stores and nearly 2,500 Specialty shops.


By Sabine Lobnig

Apr 06, 2012, 00:00

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