U.S.-based Lineage Logistics, one of the largest cold-storage operators in the world, has committed to becoming carbon net zero by 2040 in part by optimizing its refrigeration systems and use of refrigerants.
Lineage’s plans were shared by Aer Teale, Director of Engineering at Lineage Logistics in a presentation on the intersection of energy, sustainability and refrigeration during the End User Keynote session at the ATMOsphere (ATMO) America Summit 2022 on natural refrigerants. The conference, which took place June 7–8 in Alexandria, Virginia, was organized by ATMOsphere, publisher of Ammonia21.com.
In September 2021, Lineage joined The Climate Pledge with the aim of becoming carbon net zero by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Climate Accord’s 2050 target. To achieve this goal, the company is working to establish science-based targets for its Scope 1 (direct), Scope 2 (indirect – energy) and Scope 3 (indirect – value chain) emissions ahead of releasing its first carbon report later this year.
Tackling fugitive emissions
For its scope 1 emissions, Lineage is focusing heavily on reducing the fugitive emission of refrigerants. From its U.S. facilities alone, these emissions represent 10,000–71,000 metric tons of CO2e, and with an estimated 356,000lbs (161,525kg) of f-gas refrigerants at its 400 sites globally, including R404A, R22, and R134, Teale recognizes Lineage’s “duty to use [refrigerants] responsibly.”
“[Lineage is] a large consumer of refrigerants and it’s our duty to use them responsibly.”Aer Teale, Lineage Logistics
Having already expressed a commitment to natural refrigerants, such as ammonia/NH3 (R717) and CO2 (R744), Teale explained how Lineage is embracing the responsible use principles established by Emerson Climate Technologies’ E360 initiative. Through higher equipment efficiencies, better containment and refrigerant recovery, reclaim and recycling, Lineage aims to reduce its scope 1 emissions.
Unfortunately, as pointed out in Teale’s presentation, with the vast majority of Lineage’s facilities having been built over 30 years ago, transitioning to new systems is going to be a challenge.
Optimizing refrigeration systems
In 2021, Lineage’s scope 2 emissions from electricity consumption at its U.S. facilities was an estimated 557,000 metric tons of CO2e, said Teale. To reduce this, Lineage is adopting a number of strategies, including the use of renewables and improvements in energy efficiency.
According to Lineage’s energy carbon reduction strategy, around 25% of its energy-related emissions reductions will come from energy efficiency and conservation efforts. A large part of this work will relate to optimizing the company’s refrigeration systems.
Before embarking on energy-efficiency projects, Teale emphasized, Lineage strives to ensure that existing systems are safe and reliable and that the people, processes and infrastructure are in place to support future changes. Teale explained that once these prerequisites are met, work to replace equipment with new and better designs and to automate and streamline processes can begin.
As with the refrigerant transition, Lineage faces major challenges around modernizing existing facilities to adopt new technologies. Having grown through acquisitions, the vast majority of the company’s facilities are different so there’s no one-size-fits-all system that can be implemented.
Teale credited Lineage’s “incredible” R&D team for the work they do to solve such complex issues.
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