At a retrofitted Vista, California, outlet that it is calling its “first net zero energy store,” U.S. retailer Target said that it has “switched to CO2 (R744) refrigeration,” which the company “will scale chain-wide by 2040 to reduce its direct operations’ emissions by 20%.”
In an announcement on March 17, Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Target described the Vista store as “its most sustainable store to date, as the site will generate more renewable energy than it needs annually to operate.”
The store’s retrofit and new features will make it a sustainability testing site that will “inform Target’s investments in new stores and remodel programs that support its long-term growth and help guide the retailer’s efforts to achieve its sustainability goals,” the company said.
“Based on our learnings from our Vista store, we’re taking CO2 refrigeration chain-wide by 2040,” noted Target, which operates nearly 2,000 stores in the U.S.
By 2030, Target said it is committed to achieving a 50% absolute reduction in operations emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) from a 2017 base year. Refrigerant emissions contribute to a retailer’s Scope 1 direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. The efficiency of a refrigeration system contributes to a retailer’s Scope 2 indirect emissions from purchased electricity
The Vista store will generate renewable energy through 3,420 solar panels across its roof and newly installed carport canopies. The site is expected to produce up to a 10% energy surplus each year that it can transmit back to the local power grid, said Target, The company has applied for net zero energy certification from the International Living Future Institute.
The Vista store also features elements to further reduce emissions, such as powering its HVAC heating through rooftop solar panels, instead of natural gas.
“We’ve been working for years at Target to shift toward sourcing more renewable energy and further reducing our carbon footprint, and our Vista store’s retrofit is the next step in our sustainability journey and a glimpse of the future we’re working toward,” said John Conlin, Target’s Senior Vice President of Properties. “Our new stores and remodel programs are designed to help achieve our sustainability goals as we test, learn and scale our innovations over time across our operations.”
Target Forward strategy
Via its sustainability strategy called Target Forward, the retailer has committed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions enterprise-wide by 2040. Since 2017 Target has reduced its direct operations’ emissions by nearly 27%. One of the ways it intends to reach its net zero goal is through sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources for its operations by 2030, the company said.
The Vista store is one of 542 Target buildings nationwide – more than 25% of its facilities – with solar installations.
Target began using CO2 for refrigeration in 2014 when it announced that it would use hybrid CO2 systems as a future prototype. By 2017, the company had begun testing transcritical CO2 systems at two stores, and has since been installing them in other stores, according to industry sources.
In addition, in 2017, Target committed to using propane (R290) refrigerant in all of its self-contained refrigeration cases.
“Our Vista store’s retrofit is the next step in our sustainability journey and a glimpse of the future we’re working toward.”John Conlin, Target
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