South Africa’s supermarkets are using climate-friendly refrigerants

Fluorinated refrigerants such as CFCs and HCFCs that damage the ozone layer are still in use in many developing and emerging countries, although other refrigerants that are less harmful to the climate are available. With the help of an International Climate Initiative (ICI) project, South Africa’s largest nationwide supermarket chain Pick’n Pay is demonstrating that there are viable alternatives.

The project, which is being carried out by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, is supporting retail grocery chain Pick’n Pay in replacing its inefficient air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Those systems, that used fluorinated, ozone-depleting refrigerants are being replaced with modern, low-energy systems that run on natural refrigerants such as such as hydrocarbon, ammonia or carbon dioxide.
Supermarket refrigerators Enlarge image (© picture-alliance/dpa) Two of the supermarket’s branches in Cape Town and Gauteng have already switched to environmentally friendly, low-energy refrigeration technology. The success can be clearly measured: one of the demonstration supermarkets uses 17 percent less energy than conventional supermarkets, the other 24 percent less. Consumption of refrigerants is also falling, which in turn is significantly lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the first supermarket it fell by about 372 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year and in the other by 465 tonnes.

Lower energy consumption means lower costs and Pick’n Pay is reaping the benefits. This has led the supermarket chain to adapt its corporate and environmental policies so that all its new supermarkets will use natural refrigerants. Other supermarket chains in the region have taken note and have also begun to use this innovative technology. In this way, the project is demonstrating that switching to natural refrigerants and modern, low-energy technology is feasible and makes economic sense.

Further information can be found in a film made by Deutsche Welle TV:

For more information about the South African refrigeration project

August 30, 2011 © ICI

South Africa: climate-friendly refrigerants

Table Mountain in Cape Town

International Climate Initiative

Glacier in the sun

The International Climate Initiative (ICI) has been financing climate protection projects in developing and newly industrialising countries since 2008. The ICI receives funding from emissions trading, representing an innovative financing mechanism to support partner countries in the area of climate protection.  Through the ICI, the German Environment Ministry finances projects in developing countries that reduce emissions and address adaptation to the consequences of climate change, supplementing existing German development cooperation.