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Recycling Program Contributes to Supply Chain Sustainability

Ashley Ramirez | GO Green Coordinator

Cold Chain Digital Solutions at Emerson

Throughout the perishable food supply chain, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives are driving companies to implement more sustainable practices in all aspects of their operations. Often, this means uncovering issues with existing processes and selecting preferred business partners that help to support a greener supply chain. Emerson is committed to being such a partner.

For customers that use our GO real-time loggers and trackers to monitor the temperature and location of their perishable shipments, we offer a full-service, easy-to-use and free product recycling program called GO GreenSense™. Although efforts to improve sustainability are now considered standard business practices for many companies, our GO GreenSense recycling program has been operational for nearly a decade.

Since most GO real-time loggers and trackers are intended for one-time use, the GO GreenSense program was designed to recover reusable materials from undamaged devices — such as plastic shells, and electronic components — and either recycle them in new products or dispose of them properly in an environmentally friendly fashion.

Why going green matters

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lithium-ion batteries and devices containing these batteries should not be disposed of in household garbage or recycling bins. Instead, they should be taken to a certified battery recycling facility or some other household hazardous waste collection point.

Because lithium-ion batteries have a high energy density in a relatively small physical profile, they have become commonplace in modern electronic devices, including Emerson’s GO real-time trackers. These batteries are composed of critical raw materials — such as cobalt, graphite and lithium — which are considered both economically and strategically valuable resources. But when these batteries are disposed of in the trash, those resources are squandered.

What’s more, if a battery or its containing device is disposed of in the trash or placed in a municipal recycling bin along with other household recyclables such as plastic, paper or glass, it may become damaged. Therefore, lithium-ion batteries should be recycled only at certified battery electronics recyclers.

Since the mass production of plastics began six decades ago, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced. According to a study conducted by National Geographic, most plastic materials end up as trash. A few of the study’s eye-opening conclusions include:

  • Plastic takes more than 400 years to degrade
  • Only 12 percent of total plastics produced have been incinerated
  • 91 percent of all global plastic are not recycled
  • More than 40 percent of plastics are used only once

How GO GreenSense works

Emerson implemented the GO GreenSense recycling program to help facilitate the free and easy return of GO real-time tracker and logger products for proper battery and component recycling. For interested customers, we provide eco-friendly return boxes and the appropriate pre-paid postage labels. Customers can then simply place units in a return box and ship them back to Emerson.

Since GO real-time trackers use lithium-ion batteries, we provide Emerson-branded return boxes that have a “Lithium-ion battery” warning label pre-printed on them. Returned trackers are shipped via FedEx to minimize the potential for damage to the lithium-ion battery during shipping. Simply place the GO real-time trackers and the return form in each box, attach the pre-paid label, and ship via FedEx.

GO real-time loggers use lithium coin batteries that contain less than 0.1 grams of lithium metal per cell. Thus, they can be sent via USPS without the need for a warning label. Simply complete the logger return form, place in provided box with pre-paid shipping label and follow the standard USPS shipping conventions.

Upon receipt, Emerson inspects each returned device and then processes any recyclable components. Emerson hopes to be able to recycle more than 2 million devices this year.

To learn more about GO GreenSense and participate in our GO real-time tracker and logger recycling program, simply contact Emerson Cargo Solutions at +1 877 998 7299 or email us at GoGreen@Emerson.com. We look forward to helping you shrink your carbon footprint by easily recycling your temperature monitoring and tracking devices.

 

 

 

Focus on Greener “Cooling Matters” for World Refrigeration Day

RajanRajendran2 Rajan Rajendran | Global Vice President, Environmental Sustainability

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

June 26 is annual World Refrigeration Day: a day when the world recognizes the significant role that refrigeration plays in modern society. This year’s theme is “cooling matters”; at Emerson, we couldn’t agree more. World Refrigeration Day is a chance for us to reflect on the current state of the HVACR industry, the mega trends impacting the global refrigeration landscape, and how we’re helping to develop and advance ever more reliable and sustainable cooling technologies.

Refrigeration sits at the intersection among three environmental megatrends impacting our world today:

  • Phasing down the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP)
  • Improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings
  • Reducing food waste while increasing global food security

Supporting next-generation refrigeration technologies

In commercial refrigeration, the HFC phasedown and equipment energy consumption are two key factors in lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, through what we refer to as the total equivalent warming impact (TEWI). Refrigerant leaks are direct contributors to GHG emissions, which is why each refrigerant has a relative GWP rating; the higher the GWP rating, the worse the direct GHG impact. The energy consumed by a commercial refrigeration system is considered an indirect contributor to GHG emissions. Combined, these direct and indirect emissions make up a system’s TEWI.

Commercial refrigeration stakeholders are becoming ever more focused on lowering their carbon footprints by reducing these direct and indirect GHG emissions. Many of our customers are setting Net Zero targets and pledging to meet both near- and long-term decarbonization goals. U.S. regulatory mandates are taking shape that will help to drive our industry toward achieving these goals.

At Emerson, we’re committed to leading the transition to lower-GWP, energy-efficient refrigerant technologies. We already have an extensive portfolio of CO2 and R-290 refrigeration components and system technologies to help our customers leverage these proven natural refrigerant options. We’re also actively preparing for the emergence of synthetic A2L refrigerants, which will fill a niche in commercial refrigeration by covering a wide range of applications. Regardless of which refrigerants align best with our customers’ operational and sustainability goals, we’re supporting equipment strategies to help them phase out legacy HFC systems and phase in their next-generation refrigeration technologies.

Today, an estimated 3.6 billion cooling units are in use globally — a figure that is expected to increase to 9.5 billion by 2050. Developing more energy-efficient cooling systems with the ability to optimize energy consumption, flex demand, and enable grid interactivity will be essential for achieving a greener future. Today, Emerson monitors over 70,000 refrigerated sites annually, underscoring the critical importance of our efforts to develop more sustainable ways to ensure essential cooling while minimizing peak energy consumption.

Preserving perishable foods

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, up to 40 percent of the total food supply is wasted in the U.S., with more than 30 percent attributed to food loss at retail establishments and consumer homes. To combat hunger, reduce GHG emissions at landfills, and maximize resource utilization, reducing food waste is among the most critical issues facing our world.

Perishable food preservation — in storage and in-transit — is the primary objective of our refrigeration efforts and cold chain business. We’re committed to reducing food waste through:

  • Reliable Copeland™ compression technologies
  • GO real-time tracking and monitoring devices
  • Lumity™ E3 supervisory control and software platform, and connected control devices
  • Internet of things (IoT) connectivity and data analytics

Our integrated solutions deliver maximum reliability and visibility to food quality and safety from farm to fork. We’re capturing the cold chain data that empowers our customers with the insights they need to extend the life of their perishable products, meet their sustainability goals, and drive bottom-line improvements to their businesses.

So as we observe World Refrigeration Day this year, let’s remember that “cooling matters” must also be balanced with sustainability efforts. At Emerson, this is an everyday guiding principle for our cold chain business.

 

[New E360 Webinar] Regulatory Update: Stay Informed of the Latest Refrigerant Rulemaking

Jennifer Butsch | Regulatory Affairs Director

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

As we near the mid-point of 2022, it’s clear that the global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants is gaining momentum and impacting U.S. commercial refrigeration and HVAC markets. In our next E360 Webinar, Dr. Rajan Rajendran, Emerson’s global vice president of environmental sustainability, and I will overview the latest updates to refrigerant regulations and safety standards. This webinar will take place on Tuesday, June 21 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT.

Throughout the HVACR industry, stakeholders are evaluating their next-generation refrigeration strategies and making plans to transition to lower-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives. Regardless of where your company is on this journey, keeping up with the latest regulatory developments is critical to making informed decisions. Considering that most HVACR equipment is expected to last from 10 to 20 years, it’s imperative to explore equipment strategies that not only stand the test of time, but also align with your operational and sustainability goals. Understanding how regulations are driving the evolution of refrigeration technologies is key to making these important decisions.

If you’ve been following the progression of refrigerant regulations for the past several years, it may have seemed like the HFC phasedown and subsequent transition to lower-GWP refrigerants were faraway concerns that didn’t apply to U.S. stakeholders — except maybe for those operating in California or other Climate Alliance states. Today, that’s simply not the case.

Federal mandates are taking shape that will soon impact all U.S. stakeholders. Equipment standards that govern the safe use of A2L and A3 refrigerants are quickly evolving. Making environmental stewardship pledges at the corporate level has become a much higher priority. Complying with refrigerant regulations, selecting eco-friendly alternatives and meeting corporate sustainability objectives are quickly becoming shared concerns for most U.S. stakeholders.

E360 Webinar presents path forward

To help you find a path forward on your low-GWP refrigerant journey, Rajan and I are hosting a new E360 Webinar that will explain the latest regulatory updates and provide recommendations for next steps. Attendees will learn:

  • Ongoing progress of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act and its impacts on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemaking
  • Status of California Air Resources Board (CARB) refrigerant mandates that went into effect in 2022
  • Update on the safety standards and codes impacting flammable A3 and A2L refrigerants
  • Tips for preparing for the next generation of alternative refrigerants

Register now for this informative and free webinar.

Simplify Refrigeration Merchandising Strategies

Andre Patenaude | Director – Solutions Strategy

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business

Dynamic food retail market trends continue to reshape the physical layouts of grocery stores. In the never-ending quest to keep consumers engaged, retailers are rotating display cases, placing featured items in high-visibility areas, and/or redirecting shopping flows. At the same time, shrinking store footprints are forcing operators to explore distributed refrigeration architectures. In a recent E360 article, we explored how flexible refrigeration strategies are helping retailers adapt to modern food retail merchandising challenges.

In traditional store layouts, products have historically been categorized into relatively fixed aisles and locations.  But as retailers try to tailor store environments to consumers’ shopping preferences, these fixed aisles are being more frequently supplemented by a steady rotation of seasonal produce and specialty items.

As the trend toward urbanization drives more retailers to open smaller stores in existing metropolitan facilities, operators simply don’t have the space to support centralized direct expansion (DX) refrigeration. And while larger stores still rely on these DX refrigeration systems, many are starting the process of decommissioning portions of their systems for a variety of reasons:

  • Ensure reliable refrigeration performance
  • Comply with environmental regulations
  • Hit corporate sustainability targets

These dynamic factors are combining to significantly impact refrigeration equipment architectures.

Shifting to distributed strategies

Enabling merchandising and architectural flexibility requires making the shift from centralized DX systems toward one of many available distributed architectures. Distributed simply refers to the practice of distributing refrigeration condensing units (CUs) throughout a store to support various case loads. This can be achieved by integrating the CU into the refrigeration case itself, or by placing it within close range of cases.

Let’s look at a few of the leading distributed refrigeration options in the food retail space.

Micro-distributed (self-contained) — For retailers seeking maximum merchandising flexibility, plug-and-play, self-contained cases can be repositioned throughout a retail store. To meet applicable safety standards, units are currently factory-charged with up to 150g of R-290. However, a recent update to the UL 60335-2-89 safety standard has set the stage for R-290 charge increases depending on whether the unit has an open- or closed-door design:

  • 500g for open appliances without doors or drawers
  • 300g for closed appliances with doors or drawers

Although additional regulatory approvals and appropriate safety considerations will be needed to implement these higher charges, the potential for larger capacity self-contained R-290 units is now on the horizon. Multiple units can be placed on a shared water loop to remove condenser heat from a store. However, this scalable approach may limit mobility due to piping and installation requirements.

Outdoor condensing units (OCUs) — Recent advancements in modern technology have expanded OCU flexibility. Rather than using a fixed-capacity compressor — which provides a one-to-one relationship between a CU and a refrigeration fixture — digital compressors can now enable variable-capacity modulation and the ability for one OCU to support multiple fixtures.

The Copeland™ digital outdoor refrigeration unit, X-Line Series, continually modulates its capacity to precisely match the refrigeration loads of multiple fixtures. Instead of one fixed CU running at 100 percent capacity, regardless of demand, the digital X-Line delivers scalability from one to multiple units with just one OCU. Variable-capacity modulation advantages include:

  • More precise temperatures
  • Effective load matching
  • Improved energy efficiencies

Distributed scroll booster — Well-suited for new stores, retrofits and replacements, the Copeland scroll booster offers a unique balance of simplicity, sustainability and flexibility. By utilizing a low-pressure, zero glide A1 refrigerant (R-513A) for both low-temperature (LT) and medium-temperature (MT) circuits, this system is designed to:

  • Offer a familiar servicing profile
  • Scale from one to multiple refrigerated display cases or freezers
  • Eliminate the high discharge temperatures and compression ratios typically found in LT systems

The Copeland scroll booster enables the use of systems with smaller refrigerant charges and lower-GWP refrigerants (R-513A = 573 GWP), while delivering improved energy efficiencies and high reliability.

The Copeland indoor modular solution — This plug-and-play refrigeration package is designed to support larger self-contained cases by integrating all key system components within the unit itself:

  • Low-profile, Copeland horizontal variable speed scroll compressor maximizes case merchandising space and delivers superior energy efficiencies.
  • Integrated refrigeration circuit simplifies system design and architecture.
  • Electronic controls provide seamless supervisory control platform integration.

In addition, the Copeland indoor modular solution can enable a distributed refrigeration system to scale from one to multiple units — with multiple cases connected to a shared water loop.

Please visit our website to learn more about Emerson’s solutions for flexible and sustainable distributed refrigeration solutions, please visit our website.

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