Transforming The Food Supply Chain With Green Solutions

Currently the production and transportation of livestock, crops and food account for around 25% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. This means the food processing sector can play a major role in trying to mitigate global heating by introducing more sustainable practices and green technology.

Discount supermarket chain Aldi has long been committed to minimizing its impact on people and the planet. The Aldi Nord Group, which operates in Germany and several other European countries under the slogan “Good for everyone,” pursues an overarching goal of enabling sustainable consumption for all of its customers at the lowest possible price. The group is particularly focused on climate protection and aims to use the latest heating and cooling technology to help it meet the 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7°F) target of the Paris climate protection agreement.

Aldi Nord’s policies can be seen in action at its recently constructed logistics center in the town of Lisi Ogon in the north of Poland. The group plans to open around 600 new stores in the country in the next five years, and to help serve that expansion, the new distribution center is initially supplying 100 stores in the region, a figure which will eventually increase to 250. Delivery time to the existing stores has been shortened by 30%, which helps ensure high-quality, fresh produce for customers while also reducing transport exhaust emissions.

The 466,077-square-foot center was constructed by developer Panattoni, with impact on the environment an overriding concern. The building proudly displays the logo of BREEAM, the world’s leading certification for sustainable buildings, having been awarded a “very good” rating by the organization. Its numerous green solutions include LED lighting and electric car charging stations, and a photovoltaic farm is under construction to help power the building.

The center’s cold storage area covers 118,403 square feet, and Aldi’s requirements for the cooling system were in line with its sustainability commitments. One was to use natural refrigerants, which the group has long championed in both its stores and its logistics centers. The Lisi Ogon center is one of the largest CO2 transcritical cooling systems in Poland.

The refrigeration system was delivered by Schiessl Polska, which has over 25 years of experience providing energy-saving and environment-friendly technical solutions.

“WE NEEDED TO USE HIGH-QUALITY REFRIGERATION TECHNOLOGY THAT WOULD MEET THE REQUIRED COOLING PARAMETERS WHILE ALSO ENSURING THE LOWEST POSSIBLE ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION AND GUARANTEE MANY YEARS OF TROUBLE-FREE OPERATION. GÜNTNER WAS THE OBVIOUS CHOICE.”
MACIEJ BERNACKI PROJECT MANAGER, SCHIESSL POLSKA
Case study supermarket logistics poland content

In total, four Güntner Flat VARIO Gas Coolers, two Güntner Flat COMPACT Gas Coolers, two V-shape VARIO Gas Coolers, 38 Güntner Cubic VARIO Air Coolers and four Güntner Blast Air Coolers for shock cooling of eutectic plates were delivered for the center. The cooling system’s total capacity is over 1,850 kW for medium-temperature lines and 740 kW for low-temperature lines.

“It was an extremely demanding project, where practically every item was customized to meet the individual requirements of the facility,” says Bernacki. Many of the coils were very large and had to be configured to allow easy access for maintenance. Shut ups were added to the freezing room air coolers to improve the defrosting procedure, and fans were specially adapted.

“Güntner, as always, proved itself to be a professional and committed partner, maintaining the highest standards throughout the whole process,” Bernacki adds. “And this was complemented by the outstanding quality of the delivered devices.”

The project’s success was vividly demonstrated when the cooling system was first started up. It was a day when the outside temperature was 100°F, but everything worked perfectly, with all parameters met.

“THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF NATURAL REFRIGERANTS AND ENERGY-SAVING SOLUTIONS BEING USED AT A LARGE-SCALE SUPERMARKET LOGISTICS CENTER. AT GÜNTNER, WE’RE PROUD TO BE PLAYING OUR PART IN HELPING THE FOOD SECTOR ON ITS JOURNEY TO A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE.”
ALBERT BOKISZ SALES ENGINEER, GÜNTNER