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Major European naturals programme aims to think small on greener cooling

The EU has funded a research project to determine the scope of natural refrigeration solutions use in smaller-scale retail

An EU-funded project to support the uptake of climate friendly cooling and heating alternatives in smaller-scale retail is seeking respondents for an international survey to better understand the opportunities and key drivers at present to move to new solutions.

The international survey is part of the EU’s ‘Refrigerants, Naturally! For Life (RNFL)’ focus that commenced in June 2019. The work, which will continue up to the end of 2021, is looking at different means of achieving the EU’s 2030 climate targets through cooling functions.

A consortium of eight organisations including refrigeration specialists and retail suppliers will help work on the project, with Germany-based consultancy HEAD leading overall work.

RNFL noted that stores selling food have a 50 per cent higher energy usage than other commercial buildings. Given that refrigeration makes up between 30 to 50 per cent of total energy in such stores, it is thus a large contributor to a food retailer’s environmental impacts, the programme noted.

However, there is currently no reliable data about the use of refrigeration, air conditioning and heating equipment, or on user needs in the organic and small food retail sector.

The consortium added, “There is a need to get a better understanding of a small shop owners’ needs [of what is] the status quo and of the cooling and heating technology trends with the focus on refrigeration equipment used by the organic food retail sector and small supermarkets – defined as buildings with up to 1,000 sq m of sales area and other food markets in Europe.”

Based on the survey results, shop owners will be provided with a tool to benchmark the performance of its energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions to help inform appliance use.

The article is an excerpt from a special focus on natural solutions included in the December edition of RAC Magazine. The digital edition of the magazine can be read here.

Readers can also apply to subscribe to our print edition for free here.

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