Sustainable cooling of products in our logistics chain

In our distribution centres, during transport and in our stores or pick-up points: throughout the entire logistics chain we choose natural refrigerants for the sustainable cooling of products. The result is fewer CO₂ emissions. 

This initiative contributes to our objectives regarding

Updated on 26/07/2023

Distribution centres: cooling with climate neutral ammonia

In our large distribution centres and Fine Food production centres, we cool and freeze our fresh and frozen products with ammonia as much as possible. Ammonia is the natural refrigerant with the highest refrigeration efficiency. Ammonia's Global Warming Potential (GWP) is zero, which means it does not affect global warming. In central buildings with capacities below 1,000 kW we also use propane as a refrigerant. 

Transport: liquid ice containers developed in house


liquid ice containers for fresh products in March 2023


liquid ice containers for the transport of frozen products in March 2023

Our Research & Development department developed an innovative refrigerated and frozen product container for the transport of fresh and frozen products: the liquid ice container or the LIC in short. Liquid ice is a frozen but liquid mixture of water, ethanol or salt. The LIC's climate impact is much smaller than refrigerated containers on CO₂ and in addition to environmental benefits also has various logistics advantages:

  • The LIC has 12% more loading volume which means our lorries are able to transport more refrigerated products per trip.
  • Reuse: The liquid ice from the containers is refrozen and reused in a next LIC. This means nothing is lost.
  • Cold in no time: A container injected with liquid ice reaches the desired temperature in less than 30 minutes and is ready to be filled again with refrigerated, fresh products.
  • Cold for a long time: The LIC remains cold for a long time at a constant temperature. This greater autonomy gives the logistics chain more leeway. Transports are scheduled more flexibly and efficiently, resulting in fewer emissions. Fresh products remain cool in the LIC in the stores until they are put into the fresh market or freezers. 

In 2021 we also developed a new cool box for our Collect&Go take-away service. The cool box works with a cooling plate and ensures a significant reduction in CO₂ emissions. The cool box also guarantees a better, stable cooling of the products. 

The cool box has room for two Collect&Go folding boxes and generates considerably fewer CO2 emissions. The cool box has room for two Collect&Go folding boxes and generates considerably fewer CO₂ emissions

Stores: natural refrigerants

We are systematically replacing cooling installations on synthetic refrigerants with cooling installations on natural refrigerants such as propane or propylene in all Bio-Planet, Colruyt, Okay and Okay Compact stores. We prefer to use propane, a refrigerant with a very low environmental impact: propane-based systems produce over 90% less greenhouse gas emissions over their lifetime than the previous installations on synthetic refrigerants. By 2030, all old installations will have been replaced. 

43.0 %

food stores with a cooling installation on natural refrigerants in March 2023

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