Eco-business / Social Venture

December 29, 2013


Major Japanese Retailer Awarded Environmental Grand Prize for Refrigerator, Freezer Display Cases that Use Natural Refrigerants

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Non-manufacturing industry 

Aeon Co., a major Japanese retailer, announced on September 4, 2013, that its efforts to introduce refrigeration equipment using natural refrigerants in its stores -- thereby replacing conventional ones that have high greenhouse gas emissions -- were rewarded with the Economy and Industry Grand Prize for the 16th Ozone Layer Protection and Global Warming Prevention Award. Organized by Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun and jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Environment, the award recognizes technologies and approaches that reduce emissions of substances that have a high greenhouse effect.

Aeon's retail display case refrigerators use naturally-occurring substances as refrigerants -- such as carbon dioxide (CO2), ammonium, and carbon hydride -- that do not accelerate global warming nearly as much as conventional refrigerants like hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Using CO2 instead, for instance, which has a global warming potential of less than 0.1% that of HCFCs, means having a significantly lower effect on global warming over 100 years.

Aeon was the first retailer in Japan to introduce (in 2009) refrigeration and freezer display cases that use natural refrigerants, and has been replacing old units in all the group's stores since 2011. The also company says that stores scheduled to open in 2015 or later will be equipped with display cases that use natural refrigerants.