Events and conferences

Woolworths to celebrate sustainability milestone

Woolworths is marking the opening of its 100th transcritical CO2 store relaunch with a special event at 8am on March 27, 2024 at Woolworths Wollongong, NSW.

Woolworths National Sustainable Engineering Manager Dario Ferlin, M.AIRAH, describes the opening as a huge milestone.

“The term ‘privilege’ is probably used a little too liberally these days,” says Ferlin, “but it certainly has been a privilege for me to play an active role in the natural refrigerants journey within Woolworths. Years before I started in Woolies, the engineering team had landed our first refrigeration system to feature CO2 refrigerant in a R134a cascade liquid recirculation configuration at Bankstown, NSW.

“Today we are replacing that original system with twin transcritical CO2 systems and providing the store with space heating via refrigeration heat recovery. This in the same year that we have launched our 100th transcritical CO2 store and in our 100th year of operation. And it’s a privilege once again to support newer, younger engineering team members in their professional development.”

Ferlin says there have been many incremental learnings along the way.

“From the field technician at Bankstown in 2006 learning to commission an electronic expansion valve for the first time, through to designing our first integrated refrigeration and HVAC transcritical system at Prestons, NSW, 10 years later, each step forward allowed us to see a little further and grow a little bolder.”

As for the future, Ferlin says Woolworths intends to continue its sustainability journey apace.

“Our ambition is to ultimately become a net zero emissions business and probably our biggest challenge remains transitioning our refrigeration and HVAC assets to natural refrigerants. There is still plenty ahead for us, from gradually converting existing assets to finding new ways to drive the natural refrigerants applications boundary further north and inland.

“We’re working on it!”

The public is invited to attend the store relaunch for a brief celebration to mark the event.

One Reply to “Woolworths to celebrate sustainability milestone

  1. Congratulations to Dario and his team reaching a great milestone on the path for a natural solution. The commercial refrigeration industry benefits from the direction the Supermarket sector is taking, and I am looking forward to the day no more new synthetic refrigerant systems are being installed into the broader commercial sector. Go team Supermarkets! – Commercial teams – time to get on board!

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