How VersaCold goes green

Posted by: VersaCold on Apr 22, 2020 9:00:00 AM


New heat exchange system slashes energy consumption at BC facility

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, the annual worldwide demonstration of support for environmental protection. Since its start in 1970, Earth Day has grown to include events in 193 countries. The COVID-19 crisis has meant those events are all virtual this year, so we at VersaCold wanted to join in the online conversation by talking about some of the initiatives we’ve been taking to help our planet.

Knowing that even little changes can have a big impact, we’re always looking for ways to operate in a more environmentally friendly way.

On the road, this means improving route planning and maximizing the volume each one of our trucks carries to minimize the number of loads shipped. In our warehouses, it means adopting the latest, most efficient technologies throughout our facilities, from LED lighting to variable frequency drives for compressor and pump motors.

Hot floors, cool solution

One of VersaCold’s biggest recent energy efficiency projects was the installation of a new ammonia heat exchange system to heat the floor in our Abbotsford, BC (Valley) facility.

In cold storage facilities, while the air needs to be cooled to maintain the required conditions for food safety, quality and freshness, the floor actually needs to be heated. This inhibits frost buildup underneath the concrete freezer floors and prevents the floors from heaving and cracking. It also provides the necessary traction for people and equipment.

Until last year, our Abbotsford facility used an inefficient, traditional natural gas boiler to heat the floor. However, our engineers saw an opportunity to drastically decrease our energy consumption by switching to an ammonia heat exchanger, which captures and reuses waste heat from the ammonia refrigeration compressors.

Parm Grewal, Chief Operating Engineer at the facility, says, “As refrigeration operators, we’re continuously looking at ways to improve the overall building operation, by operating the refrigeration system as efficiently as possible, scheduling lighting control when the facility is occupied, and monitoring our daily utility consumption.”

The new heat exchange system did just that. After installing the new system, our Abbotsford location saw a 90% drop in natural gas consumption. It’s a huge step in VersaCold’s continued efforts to minimize our energy use and care for our environment. And needless to say, our team was thrilled with the results. Says Grewal, “In reducing our energy consumption, we’re proud to be helping minimize VersaCold’s carbon footprint and overall environmental impact.”

Doing our part for a sustainable future

The Abbotsford heat exchange system is just one of a number of ways in which VersaCold is working to do right by our environment.

Later this year, we’ll be eliminating the use of all single-use beverage cups and plastic stir sticks in our office facilities. We’ll also be engaging our teams across the country on sustainability initiatives, to better understand what they’re already doing and explore new things we can do to further reduce our footprint.

Our commitment to sustainability is more than just the right thing to do. It’s in VersaCold’s DNA. When we say Your food matters, we’re promising families across Canada and the U.S. that we’ll deliver them fresh, safe, quality food—today and tomorrow. That means ensuring the world is fit to produce food for generations to come.

To learn more about VersaCold’s environmental initiatives, contact us at or 1-800-563-COLD.

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