DeCicco & Sons’ newest store has been awarded Platinum GreenChill certification — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) highest sustainability award for food retailers — due to the grocer’s investment in a refrigeration system that uses natural refrigerant.

The store installed a Hillphoenix Advansor CO2 Booster System that utilizes carbon dioxide (CO2) refrigerant with a global warming potential (GWP) rating of 1. The CO2 refrigeration system also cuts energy costs and reduces product shrink because it keeps temperatures more consistent than traditional systems. “We get two to three more days of shelf life from meat merchandised in CO2 cases,” said John DeCicco Jr., president of the six-store upscale grocery chain.

“The advanced refrigeration system in this DeCicco & Sons store demonstrates the company’s environmental leadership,” said Tom Land, manager of EPA’s GreenChill Partnership. “Customers want to shop in stores that share their environmental values.”

While the CO2 refrigeration system is a cornerstone of the Larchmont, New York, store, it is just one of many sustainable features. Others include:

• Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified construction.

• Rooftop solar panels that supply more than half of the store’s electricity.

• Energy-efficient, long-lasting LED lights.

• Water-saving fixtures and appliances.

The idea for the eco-friendly store was born when DeCicco began working with a local utility on ways to reduce energy consumption in his other stores and saw the potential savings and sustainability that could be achieved in a fully “green” operation. After four months of planning and six months of construction, the Larchmont store opened in December.

Shoppers praise the results, DeCicco said. “Our customers really do care that we are lowering emissions and reducing waste in their community.”

For more information about DeCicco & Sons, visit www.deciccoandsons.com.

For more information about Hillphoenix, visit www.hillphoenix.com.