At Americold, driving improvements in energy efficiencies is an ongoing commitment. Environmental stewardship is foundational to our operating principles at Americold. We are continually evaluating how to use our resources more responsibly – that means being mindful of our water usage and focusing on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions among other priorities.
Americold’s approach to sustainability is driven by our people, projects and purpose. We’ve assembled leadership and associates we refer to as “energy champions” to ignite conversation and action. For example, Americold’s site-level energy teams meet on a monthly basis to discuss site-level performance and additional energy-saving opportunities. District-level energy champions provide support by raising awareness, driving performance and rallying support.
As for projects, Americold conducts lighting audits to prioritize facilities for LED retrofitting. In 2020, we converted nine cold storage sites to LEDs. The sustainability initiative resulted in a total reduction of 4.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of power usage, which equates a reduction of more than 3,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent - greenhouse gas (CO2E GHG).
Variable frequency drives (VFDs) were also installed at four of our cold storage sites. VFDs optimize the speed and torque of refrigeration system motors for greater efficiencies and reduced wear, and resulted in an annual reduction of 1.5M kWh of power usage and an avoidance of 1,062 metric tons CO2E GHG being released.
Americold has implemented rainwater harvesting to decrease fresh water and energy usage. In total, six Americold facilities are equipped with rainwater harvesting systems. The newest system in Indianapolis, Indiana, has reduced municipal water consumption by 70 percent - that’s a reduction of 6 million gallons per year—enough water to fill more than nine Olympic-size swimming pools. Wastewater treatment costs and water conditioning costs also decreased, including a 71,000 pound per year reduction in water softener salt savings. Learn more about Americold’s rainwater harvesting system in Indianapolis, Indiana.
For more information on our approach to sustainability, read our column in Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine.