Jun 18th, 2020
5 mins

Brakes hits 27% reduction in carbon emissions

Led by a cool saving of 75 tonnes of carbon emissions with new fridges

Brakes, the UK’s leading foodservice wholesaler, has announced another milestone in its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2025*.  The company revealed its latest figures showing emissions dropped by a further 3% in 2019 to 27%.


The savings were due to a combination of reductions in fuel consumption, reduction of use of gas for boilers and heating and more efficient lighting.  However, the biggest impact has been the roll out of a new refrigeration system across its network following a successful transition to natural refrigerants in fridges in its Thetford depot.


The move follows data showing that changing to natural refrigerants in fridges has saved more than 75 tonnes of carbon in its first year of operation, prompting Brakes to install identical systems at Bodelwyddan and Thorpe depots.


Ian Hunt, Brakes’ Director of Engineering and Environment, said: “The new equipment has worked brilliantly to reduce our carbon usage and we’ve been able to save around 75 tonnes of carbon – which is the equivalent of an average car driving 24,000 miles around the world 13 times.”


Brakes has long-since used natural refrigerants in its larger distribution centres, but until recently it has not been technically possible to scale such solutions down for smaller regional operations


Ian Hunt continued: “As the first wholesaler committed to rolling out more environmentally sustainable refrigeration across its entire network, we’ve seen the new system deliver not only better environmental performance, but we are also seeing other benefits such as a 25% reduction in the energy consumed at the depots.


“We’ve achieved our 2020 target of 20% absolute carbon reduction, in fact already hitting 27% reduction by end of 2019.  And we believe that initiatives such as our refrigeration strategy mean that we are well on our way to hitting our revised target of a 30% reduction by 2025.”


Daniel Clark from isentra, which supplied the fridges, said: “As well as the obvious carbon benefits,

we have seen refrigeration electricity usage down by almost half and the Global Warming Potential of the refrigerant has reduced to almost zero.  The newer technology also allows Brakes to benefit from the other upsides of this sustainable refrigeration technology, such as harnessing low outdoor ambient temperatures and benefiting from a ‘free cooling’ effect.”



*against a 2010 benchmark

For further information please contact Kevin Coles on 07776026012 –


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