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Whole Foods Pilots EOS Climate’s Refrigerant Asset System

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(An earlier version of this story pointed to Whirlpool as a pilot partner in this program. EOS Climate executive Joe Madden says that the email claiming that partnership was an error in communication between them and their PR company.)

Whole Foods is piloting a platform developed by EOS Climate that uses integrated technology to track every pound of refrigerant from the point of purchase through the end of its life.

The Refrigerant Asset System is designed to help businesses such as supermarkets and appliance makers stop treating refrigerants as consumables that are produced, used, leaked and replaced on an ongoing basis, EOS Climate says. Instead, the system uses real-time tracking to allow businesses to manage refrigerants as assets and decide when to invest in their conservation and maintenance or monetize them when they have reached the end of their useful life.

If the system were to be deployed at scale, it could prevent millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from reaching the atmosphere, EOS Climate says. CFCs, HCFCs, hydroflourocarbons and other refrigerants are greenhouse gases up to 11,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. By 2050, up to one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions could be from refrigerants, according to EOS Climate.

The system provides information for compliance reporting, advanced sustainability metrics and enables refrigerant owners to capture value from their assets, the San Francisco-based company says.

An Environment Investigation Agency survey released in October found major supermarket chains in the US including Walmart and Whole Foods continue to use refrigerants that contain hydroflourocarbons.

The US– and London-based nonprofit surveyed 11 of the largest supermarket chain, which make up more than 35 percent of stores in the industry, as well as Whole Foods because of its focus on environmental sustainability. It graded stores based on nine categories under four main themes: HFC use and policy, partnerships and pledges, maintenance and energy efficiency.

Not a single store received a passing grade and supermarket chains have not taken substantial action to begin phasing out HFCs or reduce the amount of HFC emissions leaking from refrigeration systems, the report says.

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