Marks & Spencer isn’t acting fast enough to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) — a major source of GHG emissions — from its refrigerators and install fitted doors on them, according to a report from the Environmental Investigation Agency.
The London-based group, in its annual Chilling Facts report, labels other UK retailers Waitrose, Tesco and the Co-Op as EIA Green Cooling Leaders, but strips M&S of the title because it needs to increase roll-out of HFC-free systems and hasn’t made any progress on doors since 2011.
EIA released the first Chilling Facts report in 2009 as part of a campaign to encourage UK supermarkets to ditch HFC-based refrigeration systems in favor of “natural” alternatives. Six years later, the survey has broadened to European retailers and has extended into South Africa.
In the past two years, the number of stores in the UK and Europe using natural refrigerants has risen from 730 to 1,889 among surveyed retailers.
In a different survey published last year, EIA found major US supermarkets chains including Walmart and Whole Foods continue to use HFCs.
The report, The Dirty Dozen: How your local supermarket is killing the climate, found that AholdUSA, Costco, Delhaize, HEB, Kroger, Meijer, Publix, Safeway, Supervalu, Target, Walmart and Whole Foods have not taken substantial action to begin phasing out HFCs or reduce the amount of HFC emissions leaking from refrigeration systems.