The company said its latest figures showed emissions had dropped by a further 3% in 2019 to 27%, thanks to a combination of reductions in fuel consumption, reduction of use of gas for boilers and heating, and more efficient lighting.
However, the biggest impact has been the roll out of a new refrigeration system across its network following a successful transition to natural refrigerants in fridges in its depots in Norfolk and Wales.
According to the wholesaler, changing to natural refrigerants in fridges has saved more than 75 tonnes of carbon in its first year of operation.
‘On our way to hitting target’
“The new equipment has worked brilliantly to reduce our carbon usage and we’ve been able to save around 75 tonnes of carbon – which is the equivalent of an average car driving 24,000 miles around the world 13 times,” said Ian Hunt, director of Engineering and Environment at Brakes.
“As the first wholesaler committed to rolling out more environmentally sustainable refrigeration across its entire network, we’ve seen the new system deliver not only better environmental performance, but we are also seeing other benefits such as a 25% reduction in the energy consumed at the depots.
“We’ve achieved our 2020 target of 20% absolute carbon reduction, in fact already hitting 27% reduction by end of 2019. And we believe that initiatives such as our refrigeration strategy mean that we are well on our way to hitting our revised target of a 30% reduction by 2025.”
The fridges were supplied by Isentra, which has been working with CO2 as a refrigerant for the past decade to support the reduced emission global agenda.
Daniel Clark, director at Isentra, added, “As well as the obvious carbon benefits, we have seen refrigeration electricity usage down by almost half and the Global Warming Potential of the refrigerant has reduced to almost zero.
“The newer technology also allows Brakes to benefit from the other upsides of this sustainable refrigeration technology, such as harnessing low outdoor ambient temperatures and benefiting from a ‘free cooling’ effect.”