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Does your local supermarket use HFC gas in its refrigerators?

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I get lots of press releases, and although I read them all I don't often learn something new.

One arrived yesterday that did make me sit up and take notice however. It was from the prominent and authoritative environmental charity EIA, and concerned the use of HFC gases in supermarket refrigeration equipment. HFC gases are associated with global warming, and are many times more powerful than Carbon dioxide.

The release stated that "HFC emissions from commercial refrigeration in Europe equate to about 20 million tonnes of CO2 per year – that’s about one-third of Sweden’s annual greenhouse gas emissions."

There are alternatives, and apparently 344 supermarkets have now installed climate-friendly refrigeration systems, compared to just 14 in 2008. It's an improvement, and all of the big retailers come in for praise - all except Tesco. Despite a 2009 promise to have 150 HFC-free stores by 2012 the company has so far managed just 60.

At a time when we see the big food manufacturers slapping all kinds of 'natural ingredients, no additives' notices on their products it's depressing to discover that Britain's largest supermarket chain doesn't appear to care too much about the environment its customers inhabit, as long as they keep coming.

You can read the EIA release here

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