SALISBURY, N.C., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Food Lion LLC today became one of the first U.S. grocery chains to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new GreenChill partnership, an initiative through which companies pledge to go above and beyond regulatory requirements in protecting the ozone layer and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The signing took place during an event in Montpelier, Va., at which Food Lion officials demonstrated a new refrigeration technology - one that uses naturally occurring CO2 gas to refrigerate food product. The event was attended by officials and representatives of the U.S. EPA, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), peer grocers and vendors. In signing the partnership pledge, Food Lion has committed it will: - Require all new and remodeled stores to be ozone friendly in advance of Clean Air Act phase-out requirements. - Establish an emissions inventory, which will be used to set emissions reduction targets. - Participate in an industry/government research initiative to assess the performance of advanced technologies including the secondary loop system in its Montpelier, Va. store. Food Lion has been on the leading edge of companies - grocery stores and otherwise - putting in place measures and initiatives that reduce emissions, test refrigeration technologies, conserve energy and support environmental sustainability. For the Montpelier store in particular, Food Lion worked in partnership with Hill PHOENIX, a leading designer and manufacturer of commercial refrigeration systems, to test and evaluate new refrigeration technologies that are kinder to the environment and offer better sustainability benefits. This is Food Lion's second store to use Second Nature(R) technologies from Hill PHOENIX. The first store, in Dinwiddie, Va., opened in early 2006 with a medium temperature secondary coolant system that uses water and glycol to refrigerate products. The second store, in Montpelier, Va., is testing a low temperature system featuring CO2 (a naturally occurring gas) to refrigerate low-temperature food products. Both systems will be tested together in a third location, Portsmouth, Va., which is scheduled to open in early 2008. The two companies are working together to identify smarter ways to refrigerate food products using technologies that are gentler on the environment while also realizing cost savings to help keep grocery prices competitive. (Please see Hill PHOENIX release for details on the technology). The Hill PHOENIX Second Nature(R) systems used in the Montpelier and Dinwiddie store tests: - Require less refrigerant, which has been linked to global warming and ozone depletion. - Raise suction temperatures without raising food temperatures, which saves energy and also preserves the shelf life of food. - Reduce the amount of copper piping used. Where applicable, copper piping is replaced with state-of-the-art engineered ABS plastic piping, which requires less energy to create, is easier to install and, because it has far fewer seams than copper piping, decreases the chance of refrigerant leaking into the environment. - Require less maintenance than traditional direct expansion systems. "We congratulate Food Lion and Hill PHOENIX for creating this cutting-edge supermarket," said Jeff Cohen, who manages the U.S. EPA's Alternatives and Emissions Reductions program and who signed the GreenChill pledge. "This store, along with Food Lion's store in Dinwiddie, Va., are the showcases for the next generation of refrigeration technology. We also are pleased by Food Lion's decision to join the GreenChill partnership and continue its role as an industry leader in environmental sustainability initiatives." Scott Martin, director of sustainable technologies for Hill PHOENIX, commended Food Lion, which is owned by Brussels-based Delhaize Group, for long being on the forefront of such technologies. "Food Lion is committed to using environmentally-friendly and energy-saving technologies in their stores. Hill PHOENIX also desires to produce the most energy-efficient, environmentally friendly refrigeration products in the industry. These two like-minded approaches are the driving force behind the testing of these green technologies," Martin said. "Food Lion believes that a critical aspect of serving our customers is to be a responsible corporate citizen," said Glenn Dixon, Food Lion LLC's senior vice president of corporate development. "We take great pride in undertaking initiatives such as these, which will protect the environment and sustain the communities in which we operate for years to come." About GreenChill In partnership with supermarkets, and chemical and refrigeration equipment manufacturers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched a new partnership, dubbed GreenChill, to promote the use of retail food refrigeration technologies that reduce emissions of ozone depleting and greenhouse gas refrigerants. The program will ask supermarket partners to make several important commitments that go beyond regulatory compliance: - establish a refrigerant inventory and set emissions reduction targets; - only use ozone-friendly alternatives and advanced refrigeration technologies in all new and remodeled stores; - collaborate across the industry to identify service and operational practices that reduce emissions; - participate in an industry/government research initiative to assess the performance of cutting edge "green" technologies in terms of energy efficiency, reduction of refrigerant charge, and minimization of refrigerant leaks. The EPA estimates that widespread adoption of best practices, improved equipment design and service, and advanced refrigeration technologies could reduce refrigerant emissions by 1 million metric tons of carbon equivalent per year, which is the equivalent of taking 800,000 automobiles off the road, and save over $12 million in operating expenses. About Food Lion Food Lion LLC is a subsidiary of Brussels-based Delhaize Group (NYSE: DEG). Food Lion LLC operates more than 1,200 supermarkets, either directly or through affiliated entities, under the names of Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food, Harveys and Reid's. These stores meet local customer needs and preferences for the freshest and best quality products. Food Lion LLC employs approximately 73,000 associates in 11 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Since 1998, Food Lion and the EPA have worked in close partnership as Food Lion pushed its energy-conservation efforts to increasingly higher levels. For its efforts adopting and applying energy management practices and technology throughout its store operations, Food Lion received the EPA's ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year awards in 2001 and 2002. In both years, Food Lion was the only supermarket company to receive the honor. In 2003, 2004 and 2005, the EPA again recognized Food Lion's energy efforts by awarding Food Lion the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award. About Hill PHOENIX Based in Conyers, Ga., Hill PHOENIX, a Dover Company, designs and manufactures an extensive line of commercial refrigerated display cases, refrigeration systems and mechanical centers, power systems, and walk-in coolers and freezers. For more information, visit www.hillphoenix.com.
SOURCE Food Lion LLC