One of Britain’s biggest foodservice suppliers, Brakes, announced it was nearing its target of 30 per cent carbon emissions reduction by 2025.

On World Environment Day, Brakes revealed a combination of reduction in fuel consumption, reduction in use of gas for boilers and heating and more efficient lighting had helped shave 3 per cent off its carbon emissions in 2019 alone.

Most effective however was the switching to natural refrigerants across its UK-wide network.

Brakes’ data revealed that changing to natural refrigerants saved the company more than 75 tonnes of carbon emissions in its first year of operation – that’s roughly equivalent to 75 flights from London to New York.

The savings prompted Brakes to install identical systems at Bodelwyddan and Thorpe depots.

Ian Hunt, Brakes’ Director of Engineering and Environment, said: “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.”

Brakes has long-since used natural refrigerants in its larger distribution centres, but until recently it has not been technically possible to scale such solutions down for smaller regional operations

Hunt continued: “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 per cent absolute carbon reduction, in fact already hitting 27 per cent 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 per cent reduction by 2025.”

Daniel Clark from isentra, which supplied the fridges, said: “As well as the obvious carbon benefits, we have seen refrigerationelectricity 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.”