Woolworths is the first South African retailer to reduce its ecological footprint by piloting a refrigeration system driven by a natural gas Woolworths is piloting the use of natural refrigerants in place of conventional synthetic refrigerants. Natural refrigerants do not deplete the ozone layer. “We are piloting the use of CO2, which is a natural gas. Unlike conventional refrigerants, the use of a CO2 helps to mitigate against the depletion of ozone layer. Furthermore, early indications are that our new refrigeration system also uses less energy. Very few refrigeration systems in the world can offer these benefits. Our customers expect us to be a responsible retailer and we work extremely hard to meet this expectation in every aspect of our business,” says Alex Kuzma, engineering manager for Woolworths. The new cooling system was recently installed at Woolworths Grey Owl store in Midrand with a view to making this a standard in all new store installations. It took three years to design this highly complex new refrigeration system. Woolworths sought expertise from the world’s leading experts. Robert Arthur, international retailer Marks and Spencer’s Refrigeration Technologist for Property & Store Development says, “I must congratulate all the parties involved with the quality of both the design and the completed installation. Furthermore, I think it’s great that Woolworths has brought cutting edge technology and skills to South Africa.” This development is especially pertinent because South Africa is participating in COP 15 in Copenhagen in December 2009, which aims to reduce global greenhouse emissions. South Africa is already a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol and the Montreal Protocol which also aim to slow global warming and protect the ozone layer from further harm. Woolworths efforts to preserve our environment are inspired by our Good business journey – Woolworths plan to protect our people and our planet. Ends