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Walmart urged to move faster on HFC alternatives

USA: Environmental groups have urged the world’s largest retailer Walmart to move faster on the transition to low GWP refrigerants. 

Groups including Green America and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) have reacted to Walmart’s latest strategy to address the climate crisis which includes transitioning to “low-impact refrigerants” for cooling and electrified equipment for heating in its stores, clubs and data and distribution centres by 2040.

The EIA claims that Walmart’s is decades behind its major competitors, including Aldi, Target, and Whole Foods who have already started making the switch. It also criticises Walmart for failing to offer a plan to address current HFC leaks in its stores in its latest announcement.

Just recently, the environmental groups delivered petitions from more than 100,000 consumers calling on Walmart to reduce emissions from the refrigerants used in its 11,500 stores worldwide.

“After mounting consumer pressure and regulatory movement, Walmart has finally announced its new intent to address refrigerants, but offers no specifics on what refrigerants it will use and includes no public goals on its current refrigerant leaks that are fuelling the climate crisis,” said Beth Porter, Green America’s climate campaigns director. 

“It is shocking that despite several supermarkets already adopting HFC-free cooling across America, Walmart is backtracking on its previous commitment to “ultra-low GWP” refrigerants after years of failing to implement that voluntary commitment,” said Avipsa Mahapatra, the EIA’s climate campaign lead. 

“Without any measurable near-term targets to transition equipment completely away from HFCs or any strategy to address refrigerant leaks and disposal, today’s announcement is grossly inadequate,” she added.

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