Honeywell, developer, manufacturer and supplier of refrigerants, has announced that Tesco, one of the world’s largest supermarket chains, is converting more than 1,200 stores across the UK to Honeywell’s Solstice ® N40 refrigerant in order to meet its carbon reduction commitments.

In November 2015, Tesco committed to the parties of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris (COP21) to carbon reduction from refrigeration systems. Part of the work to support this was focused on reducing its refrigerant emissions by 26.5% compared with a 2006/2007 baseline. Part of its strategy is to switch to Honeywell’s Solstice N40 from R-404A, which it uses today. By converting 1,200 stores to Solstice N40—and utilising the lower global-warming-potential (GWP) of the new refrigerant—Tesco can lower its carbon footprint by up to 40%, which is equivalent to removing 70,000 cars from the road over the next three years.

Tesco’s current refrigerant, R-404A, is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) with a high GWP of 3,943. By comparison, Solstice N40 has a GWP of 1,273, making it the lowest-GWP, non-flammable refrigerant commercially available today that can be used to replace R-404A in supermarket refrigeration systems. Solstice N40 is a near drop-in replacement for R-404A.

“More and more supermarket companies are using Solstice N40 in large-scale store conversions, as it is the ideal solution to help meet their energy efficiency and sustainability goals,” said Robert Kebby, refrigeration global business manager for Honeywell Fluorine Products. “Honeywell encourages customers to accelerate the conversion to immediately available, environmentally preferable refrigerants and avoid expected legacy product scarcity.”

The success of the Tesco conversion project requires a close collaboration between Honeywell and its partners. A-Gas, a major distributor of Honeywell refrigerants for the UK, provides a reclaim and testing facility. Climate Centre provides national delivery and collection of new and reclaimed refrigerants, while Carter Synergy and Space Engineering provides the expertise for the actual conversions.

The conversion will take place over the next three years, with the first 60 stores already converted.