Tesco cheese aisle

Tesco claims switching to the new refrigerant will lower its carbon footprint by 40%

Tesco is to slash its carbon emissions by switching to a new type of refrigerant at 1,200 stores in the next three years.

The retailer announced it had converted the first 60 stores to using the new refrigerant, R448A, which it claims will lower its carbon footprint by 40%.

It is the latest move since Tesco signed up to the UN Climate Change conference commitment in Paris in 2015 to try to reduce global warming.

It has signed up Honeywell Flourine products, whose version of the refrigerant called Solstice N40, is being used in the upgrades.

“We set aggressive sustainability goals and were committed to achieving them without impacting our customers,” said Matthew Reeves-Smith, group head of refrigeration & HVAC, Tesco. “We sought the best technology to convert 1,200 stores in three years and found our solution in Solstice N40. This refrigerant meets all our key criteria including energy efficiency, system performance and maintenance. The fact that it is a near drop-in replacement for our current refrigerant helps ensure a smooth, ongoing conversion process over the next three years.”

Tesco said the conversions included all store types, although the majority were Express stores.

The change of refrigerants was done overnight to avoid customer disruption, it added.

Robert Kebby, global business manager for Honeywell Fluorine Products, which has the contract to carry out the work, said: “More and more supermarket companies are using Solstice N40 in large-scale store conversions, as it is the ideal solution to help meet their energy efficiency and sustainability goals,”

More than 2,000 supermarket installations were completed with Solstice N40 by the end of 2016.

Earlier this month, Tesco announced tougher new carbon reduction targets for its stores and distribution centres, in a move designed to combat climate change.

Under the new targets, Tesco said it aimed to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, with an interim milestone of 65% renewable electricity by 2020.