The carbon credits (formally known as verified emission reductions or VERs) could be sold in a carbon market to help offset the cost of the new equipment, providing an incentive to install environmentally friendly refrigeration systems, said Jeff Cohen, a co-founder and senior vice-president (science and policy) at EOS Climate. Cohen outlined the programme in a recent webinar hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership.

New refrigeration equipment – whether store-wide systems or stand-alone units – earn credits based the difference in emissions generated by the new system and a baseline system. The calculation incorporates leak rates, charge size, GWP of the alternative refrigerant, the lifespan of the equipment, and other factors.

“There are a number of possibilities down the road”. 

Harrison Horning, director of equipment purchasing, maintenance and energy at Delhaize.

As a pioneering end user of transcritical CO2 technology, Hannaford Supermarkets is well positioned to earn credits through the programme. “We continue to pilot advanced systems, and if there’s a way to get credit for that, we’d like to pursue that,” said Harrison Horning, director of equipment purchasing, maintenance and energy at Delhaize’s Hannaford division, who also participated in the webinar.

“There are a number of possibilities down the road.”

Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford, a division of Ahold Delhaize, has also taken advantage of another part of the EOS Climate programme that addresses the environmental impact of the HFC emissions in remaining stores. That is, the chain is purchasing carbon credits from retailers and others that have earned them by recycling HFC refrigerants.

Earlier this year, Hannaford acquired 4,200 carbon credits through the programme, which was approved last October by the American Carbon Registry. 

“Reclaimed HFC VERs are a promising instrument to assist our efforts to mitigate HFC emissions from our refrigeration equipment while phase-down plans are completed,” said Horning.