The WWF is run at a local level by the following offices...
- WWF Global
- Central African Republic
- Central America
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- European Policy Office
Performances of over 70 per cent of Hong Kong’s grocery retail brands in the energy efficiency of refrigeration are substandard: their “fridge with door ratio” is below the city’s average, according to WWF’s recent “Fridge territory-wide System Assessment”(Fridge TSA). Every year, doorless fridges in the city contribute to an estimated 51,000 tonnes of "unnecessary" carbon into our warming atmosphere and driving climate change.
The Fridge TSA also found that two giant retail groups have the largest carbon footprint stemming from their shops’ doorless fridges. WWF calls on the businesses to show environmental responsibility and establish a timeline to install fridge doors.
During October 2015 and January 2016, WWF and 30 core volunteers surveyed 640 stores (which include convenience stores, frozen food markets, supermarkets and department stores) of 26 grocery retailers. Of the 8,500 refrigerators inspected, only 48 per cent has doors.
Among the 26 surveyed grocery retail brands, 19 did not pass the “Fridge TSA” check: the fridge with door ratio is below average. 7-Eleven has the highest percentage of fridges with doors (84 per cent); while AEON performed the worst, only 15 per cent of its fridges are equipped with doors.
According to WWF’s research, a doorless fridge consumes an extra 5,000 kWh of electricity every year. WWF estimates that there are over 18,000 doorless fridges in the city’s grocery stores. If businesses add all these fridges doors, the city can save a total of 51,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year - equivalent to the CO2 absorbed by more than two million trees.
Olivia To, Public Engagement Officer, Climate of WWF-Hong Kong says we shouldn’t underestimate the important role of fridge doors in saving energy, reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change. “The misconception of doorless fridges facilitating customers’ shopping experience is contributing to serious energy waste and climate change. Fridge doors can save energy significantly: amount of electricity reduced by installing doors to two fridges is equivalent to the average household energy consumption.”
In terms of the absolute amount of carbon emissions, the two retail giants, A.S. Watson Group and Dairy Farm Group, contribute to a majority of the unnecessary emissions. Over sixty per cent of the additional emissions comes from the two group’s subsidiaries. However, the percentage of fridge with doors differs from one subsidiary to another in the same group. For example, percentage of fridges with doors found at different subsidiaries of Dairy Farm range from 37 to 83 per cent.
Since last year, WWF has been actively engaging various grocery retailers in identifying ways to solve the fridge door problem. 7-Eleven replied WWF that according to its data, branches with fridge with doors saved 40 per cent of electricity as compared to thosedoorless fridges. The retailer is now working to install fridge doors in all its branches by the first half of this year.
Earlier this month an experiment conducted at one of 759 Store’s branches found that sales of a food item stored in a fridge with doors fared slightly better than that of the same product when displayed in a doorless one. AEON also agreed to collaborate with WWF in conducting a fridge electricity consumption test and customer survey.
Positive feedback from the various retailers shows that the sector is working to improve energy efficiency of its shops’ daily operations. WWF strongly advises the retailers to give fridges a door, and to phase out the doorless fridges with a concrete timeline.
Prentice Koo, Assistant Manager, Climate Policy and People of WWF-Hong Kong says, “7-Eleven makes a Truly Green decision which puts them in the leading position in the industry. It shows to the public that fridge with door is feasible for retail business. Retailers can save the climate. The other 25 brands shall learn from 7-Eleven as soon as possible. Otherwise, they will be despised by customers for their wasteful energy consumption practice in their operation.”