In 2009, Woolworths (JHB) piloted a 3 year venture to install R744 refrigeration – A South African retailer’s first step to combat CO2 emissions. They began a redevelopment and expansion project which included the installation of CO2 transcritical technology and floating condensing units. Their renovated refrigeration system reported 30% energy savings in temperatures up to 50oC. This first eco-friendly transmutation spearheaded the seamless transition, by other Woolworths stores across the country, to this new standard installation.
Although a R744 refrigeration system costs more than a R404 one, Woolworths’ commitment to green technology and decreasing their carbon footprint is being kept. Its implementation of CO2 transcritical refrigeration was a commitment to South Africa to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by 2020. This system is ideal for South Africa’s high ambient temperature climate.
Until today, Woolworths boasts about their continued use of natural refrigerants instead of conventional synthetic gasses. Part of their corporate plan is to be increasingly energy efficient, refrigeration playing a large role in their vision.