(DALLAS â¬ September 19, 2011) Today, the U.S.…
(DALLAS – September 19, 2011) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership announces Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods Market as the top winners in the program’s 2011 Environmental Achievement Awards. The stores are being recognized for reducing harmful refrigerant emissions, thereby contributing to the fight against climate change and ozone-layer depletion.
The GreenChill partnership works with supermarkets to help them transition to more environmentally friendly refrigerants, reduce the amount of refrigerant they use, eliminate leaks, and adopt green refrigeration technologies and environmental best practices. More than 7,300 stores belong to the GreenChill Partnership, or 20 percent of the supermarket industry.
For the second consecutive year, Sprouts Farmers Market received GreenChill’s top award, Best Emissions Rate, for achieving the lowest corporate-wide emissions rate of all GreenChill supermarket companies. The company’s store in the Westlake District of Thousand Oaks, California, was also recognized as the best new GreenChill-certified store. The store uses technology that prevents at least 95 percent of the harmful refrigerant emissions of a typical supermarket.
“To receive GreenChill’s award for the best corporate-wide emissions rate and for the best certified store in the nation is an incredible achievement,” said Keilly Witman, Manager of EPA's GreenChill Partnership. “This is the first time in the history of the Partnership that both awards have gone to the same company.”
For the second time, Whole Foods received the Most Improved Emissions Rate Award for most significant reduction in its corporate refrigerant emissions rate from the previous year.
"Whole Foods’ efforts to stop refrigerant leaks led to a 17 percent reduction in the company’s refrigerant emissions rate in one year," said Witman. "Whole Foods’ efforts show that it is possible to make significant gains in environmental protection in a short period of time when a company prioritizes emissions reductions.”
Additional information on EPA’s GreenChill Partnership is available at www.epa.gov/greenchill 
More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html 
EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/sep2011.html