Sainsbury’s trials world’s first naturally refrigerated trailer

06 September 2013

  • New technology could save over 70,000 tonnes of CO2
  • Equivalent to taking over 34,000 cars off the road
Sainsbury’s is trialling the world’s first naturally refrigerated trailer to transport chilled and frozen goods. The CO2 refrigerated unit trial is part of the retailer’s review of its transport refrigeration gas and work to reduce its carbon footprint, which includes converting its stores to natural refrigeration by 2030.

Sainsbury’s was the first UK retailer to commit voluntarily to phasing out harmful HFC refrigerants. It converted its refrigerated depots in 2011 and is on track to switch 250 stores to CO2 refrigerant by 2014 – over 160 stores have already moved to the natural refrigeration system. Currently all new stores are fitted with CO2 as standard and its Haslucks Green Local store in Solihull is also trialling the very first small-scale CO2 refrigeration system, making it Britain’s greenest convenience store.

Nick Davies, Sainsbury’s Head of Transport Operations, said: “The new carbon dioxide technology has much less of an impact on climate change and we hope it will play a big part in helping us reduce our carbon emissions. We will be monitoring its performance closely and if successful, in line with our replacement plan, it could help us save over 70,000 tonnes of CO2 compared to the current refrigerated trailer fleet.”

Sainsbury’s is working with Carrier Transicold in a two year trial of the new HFC-free cooling technology for road transport, using a modified version of Carrier’s NaturaLINE™ refrigeration system, which was initially developed for deep sea containers and completed a rigorous sea trial programme in 2012.

David Appel, President of Carrier Transicold, said: “This is the very first time that our NaturaLINE system has been mounted to a box trailer anywhere in the world. It’s a fantastic opportunity to advance Carrier's natural leadership in environmental technologies, by working closely with Sainsbury’s, one of our largest customers in Europe, to test how the concept performs on the road. It’s also much better news for the environment because natural refrigerant CO2 is non-ozone depleting and has a Global Warming Potential of one.”

Sainsbury’s has also recently extended its Dual-Fuel fleet to 51 vehicles saving up to 25 per cent in carbon emissions (over 2,090 tonnes of CO2). The environmentally friendly fleet, now one of the largest in the UK, operates on a combination of diesel and bio-methane, produced from rotting organic material in landfill. Each Dual-Fuel vehicle will save around 41 tonnes of CO2 from being dispersed into the atmosphere each year.

Underpinned by its 20x20 Sustainability Plan, Sainsbury’s aims to reduce its depot to store transport CO2 emissions by 35 per cent by 2020 and achieve an absolute reduction of 50 per cent by 2030, against a 2005 baseline, despite the growth of its business.

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