Lidl: New distribution centre using only natural refrigerants

By team, Jun 11, 2009, 13:24 2 minute reading

The German Retailer Lidl has started the construction of a new distribution centre in Western Germany. On 5,800 square metres of cooling space, Lidl will only install refrigeration systems using R744 and ammonia, reinforcing its commitment to natural refrigerants under the EU retail sector’s Environmental Action Programme. 

Lidl, which is part of the Schwarz Group, has decided to exclusively install refrigeration systems with the natural refrigerants R744 and R717 in its new distribution centre in Paderborn, Germany. The opening of the facility, which will have a total area of 33,200 square metres of which 1,400 are for low temperature (LT) refrigeration and 4,400 for medium temperature (MT) cooling, is planned for February 2010.

With the fast expansion of Lidl supermarkets not only in this area, the project is meant to simplify the storage and distribution of products. To further reduce energy costs as well as the facility’s environmental impact, the buildings will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and special thermal insulation. The rejected heat from the refrigeration systems will be used by heat pumps to supply heat to the storage and administration buildings.

Lidl’s CO2 track record

The decision in favour of R744 is a result of the positive experience in various field tests and previous installations the company has realised in the past 3 years. Since mid-2006, Lidl has been running a MT multicompressor refrigeration installation with R744 for the LT side. In addition, the Schwarz Group has been using a heat pump technology connected to a R404a/R744 cascade system to heat and cool several Lidl stores, whichhas led to a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions. At present, more pilot projects using different technologies with R744 as the refrigerant are under development.

Lidl’s commits to natural refrigerants under the EU retail sector’s environment programme

Responding to the European Commission’s Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production and Industrial Policy, the European retail sector has put forward the “Retailers Environmental Action Programme” (REAP), whereby each retailer has set out a “Matrix of Environmental Action Points” (MAP), which lists individual retail companies/federations’ actions and initiatives to define concrete targets. It is hoped that MAP will encourage companies to publicly record their individual sustainability commitments and stimulate competition among them to show leadership on environmental sustainability. Currently from a total of 24 retailers that have joined the initiative to record their individual sustainability commitments in different areas, only Lidl has referred to the use natural refrigerants, without, however, committing to any specific target.


By team (@r744)

Jun 11, 2009, 13:24

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