Cleaner Greener Freezer
We at Ben & Jerry's take our environmental hoofprint seriously - we've always been committed to making the best possible ice cream in the nicest possible way, which is why we're super delighted to be able to use a shiny new generation of cabinets that use less energy! Say hello to our "Lean & Green" freezers.
We’ve been working hard to make our ice cream cabinets more climate-friendly & energy efficient since the ‘90s and, in 2004, having proved the effectiveness of HydroCarbon (HC) refrigerants, we started replacing HydroFluoroCarbon (HFC) freezer cabinets with HC technology. Now we’re rolling out Lean & Green freezers & reducing our hoofprint even further (hooray!). These fancy freezer machines are over 30% more energy efficient compared to older models thanks to the adoption of state-of-the-art (higher efficiency) components including compressors, fans & LEDs.
So, these lovely new Lean & Green freezers are being market tested this year, with a view to go full steam ahead rolling them out from 2012 onwards. We’re applying this cool technology to about 70% of the HC freezer cabinets purchased by us globally in 2011, and these units are in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia. The US is the only country globally that currently does not have legislation in place which permits the use of HC so we made a Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) application for the use of climate- friendly refrigerants in ice cream cabinets and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the application for a test market. In 2009 and 2010 we’re chuffed to say that we became the first company with HC freezer cabinet technology in the US! (We’re expecting the final ruling of the EPA soon, so watch this space!)
Given ice cream lives in freezers which run on gases that are key contributors to ozone depletion, we've gone on a bit of a crusade to find an alternative solution.
So, we've teamed up with acoustics professor Steven Garrett and fellow researchers at Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory, where we helped fund a project to develop an environmentally-friendly, compact freezer cabinet that uses thermoacoustic technology to create cooling. That means they're powered by sound waves.
In 2003, the team managed to develop the first prototype chilling unit and while we're very excited about this advancement, it will be a little while before they make their way into a household near you.