Retail Project of the Year - RAC Cooling Awards
The programme by which Tesco plans to convert its national estate away from R404A has already garnered publicity for its scale and ambition, but in awarding it the prestigious Retail Project of the Year, the judges were keen to underline the sheer breadth of planning required to deliver it, in both refrigeration and logistics terms. In planning, the involvement of the supply chain has been key, from the refrigerant supplier of the preferred refrigerant - the HFO R448A -through to major contractors, to ensure that the conversion programme of 1,200 stores can be delivered in the tight three-year time frame.
R404A accounted at the outset of the programme for 97 per cent of the entrained volume of the estate, so for the plan to work, it required the buy-in of the refrigerant distributors and wholesalers, both to make the HFO available in sufficient volume and to ensure that the R404A is taken away and recycled for re-use where it’s needed in the unconverted stores, as Tesco undertakes a phased programme, depending on the store’s age. The sheer scale of the activity also required real commitment from the contractors, especially given that the tender consisted of just two, to maximise consistency.
The judges were impressed that Tesco is not only taking a lead in converting away from the high GWP R404A sooner rather than later - sending a message to fellow end-users about acting early but that it is pushing its supply chain to do it as quickly as is practically feasible. It will certainly make an impact on the estate -Tesco estimates it will cut its carbon output from direct emissions by 40 per cent.
For Winners' Brochure click here.