Best in Sustainability
"United States Cold Storage is committed to the environment and its well-being. Sustainable development is achieved through state of the art warehouse design and construction, the use of eco-friendly refrigeration technology, and through utilization of energy efficiency materials and technologies.
We’ll continue to responsibly manage resources to meet the evolving requirements of the communities we serve – our customers, our employees and our industry."
-Mike Lynch, VP, Engineering
USCS benchmarks numerous key performance indicators necessary to drive future improvements and investments. Our overall sustainability goal is to be ‘Best in Cold’ while achieving a 1.5 percent year over year reduction in our carbon footprint.
Over the past five years, USCS has reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 12% while increasing its cubic capacity by 31%. A remarkable achievement.
USCS is continually investigating the deployment of renewable and energy efficient technology. Solar continues to be good opportunity. In September 2008, we installed our first solar array at our Tulare, California warehouse.
Subsequent investments in solar technology followed in 2015 with a solar array in Lumberton, North Carolina and again in Tulare, California in 2018. Renewable energy production currently provides 1.5% of USCS’ total electricity requirements.
In 2006, USCS established a historical baseline for water use and waste water generation. We continue to work on methods to reduce water usage, increase water recycling, and utilize rain water harvesting methods were appropriate.
Improving Energy Efficiency
Refrigeration and warehouse operations use approximately 90% of the electricity consumed within our warehouses.
We’re reducing electrical consumption by upgrading existing warehouses with energy efficient technology and building new, energy-efficient, warehouses utilizing the most advanced technologies and materials.
Some of these technologies include:
- Carbon Dioxide cascade refrigeration systems
- LED Lighting throughout the warehouse
- Variable Frequency Drives on industrial motors
- High-efficiency motors and soft-start electronic starters
- Energy efficiency evaporator and condenser design
- Highly-reflective white TPO roof membranes
- High-speed bi-parting freezer doors
- State of the art refrigeration control systems
- High frequency and Opportunity battery charging
- Optimized thermal envelopes
Recycling & Waste Reduction
In 2006, USCS mandated the conversion to synthetic refrigeration oil. Synthetic refrigeration oils have a high thermal viscosity providing longer life cycles between oil changes.
We have effectively reduced the disposal and recycling of this waste stream.
Why Use CO2?
In 2005, USCS built one of the first low charge ammonia refrigeration systems utilizing a CO2/NH3 cascade refrigeration system. This decision helped reduced the regulatory burden on our warehouses.
Through the elimination of ammonia within our warehouses, this also resulted in a safer environment for our employees and customer’s products. The use of subcritical CO2 has shown to be as energy efficient as ammonia, and in some applications, more efficient. USCS continues to lead our industry in the development and use of state of the art low charge ammonia refrigeration systems.
Environmental Disclosure & Reporting
Annually USCS publishes its Environmental, Health and Safety Report which is made available to our customers and employees through Swire’s Sustainability webpage.
In addition, USCS voluntarily participates in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a not-for-profit charity that runs a global disclosure systems to help manage participant’s environmental impact.