Co-op shops in Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham and Waterlooville to get motor racing technology installed in their fridges to cut greenhouse gas

A REGIONAL co-operative is harnessing technology developed by motor racing engineers and putting it to use in its fridges in a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

By Kimberley Barber
Monday, 6th September 2021, 9:57 am
Ecoblades in Co-op fridges
Ecoblades in Co-op fridges

Southern Co-op is rolling out the technology in 29 retail stores in Hampshire and using it to improve refrigeration efficiency and reduce cold air being lost into the aisles.

The technology, developed by motor racing engineer Wirth Research, is expected to lead to significant reductions in CO2 emissions as it uses the same technique used to direct airflow efficiently around racing cars.

The twin-bladed shelf-edge strips were initially trialled in 2020 and will now be rolled out to all Southern Co-op stores which have fridges without chiller doors.

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Gemma Lacey, director of sustainability and communications, said: ‘The future of our planet relies on us all urgently cutting greenhouse gas and this is one way we are doing that, as part of our Climate Action Pathway to net zero.

‘We have set ambitious targets aligned with the latest science showing what is required globally to limit global warming to 1.5°C but we need to work collaboratively with others to achieve our goals and limit the severity of the impacts of climate change.’

The new EcoBlade technology is expected to reduce refrigeration energy consumption by up to 25 per cent by acting as an invisible air curtain, keeping warm air out and cool air in.

Southern Co-op, which has iots heda office at Lakeside, North Harbour, Portsmouth, has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.

Initiatives to reduce Southern Co-op's carbon footprint have already included sourcing the majority of its electricity from renewable sources, installing LED lighting across its estate, movement sensors to control lighting in stockrooms and employee areas, doors for refrigeration, and solar photovoltaic panels.

Southern Co-op has also pledged to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which focus on addressing the world's biggest challenges including climate change.

The stores having the technology installed include: Bridgemary's Gregson Avenue, Cowplain's London Road, Crookhorn's The Precinct, Denmead's Hambledon Road, Fareham's Gudge Heath Lane, Gosport's Palmyra Road, Havant's St Albans Road, Lee-on-the-Solent's Twyford Drive, Portsmouth's Elm Grove, Great Southsea Street, Tangier Road, The Hard, Tregaron Avenue and Twyford Avenue, Purbrook's London Road, Waterlooville's Milton Road and Wickham's The Square.