MD is First Supermarket In Italy To Use Solstice® L40X (R-455A)

When MD S.p.A., one of the fastest-growing Italian supermarket chains decided to accelerate the conversion of its in-store refrigeration systems to a long-term and eco-efficient solution it turned to Honeywell. Following a comprehensive analysis based on Honeywell’s independently validated Eco-Efficiency simulation model, the retailer is implementing low GWP Solstice® L40X (R-455A) refrigerant at its San Giovanni in Persiceto supermarket near Bologna – and the results look promising.




Consumers across Italy know that when they see the distinctive yellow, red and blue MD supermarket logo, they’ll be able to get whatever type of food they’re looking for, from everyday supplies such as pasta, milk, cheese, meats, fruit and vegetables, to celebratory treats such as prosecco and cakes – all at affordable prices. So compelling is the brand’s value proposition that MD is now the second-fastest growing supermarket chain in Italy, with 15% year-on-year growth and €3.4 billion in annual turnover.


Part of Lillo Group S.p.A., a privately-owned holding company encompassing homeware, electronics, food and beauty, MD S.p.A. operates more than 800 supermarkets across Italy. Of these, 45% are classed as small (less than 1,000 sq m); 32% are medium-sized (between 1,000 and 1,500 sq m); and 23% are large (more than 1,500 sq m).


The stores are served by 8,000 employees and eight logistics centers. To keep pace with market demand, MD plans to open 30 greenfield new stores and remodel a further 25 every year.


In line with regulatory requirements and the expectations of its customers, MD has introduced efficiency and sustainability guidelines for all of its stores, mandating the use of LED lighting, remotely-controlled refrigeration systems, electricity monitoring, and photovoltaic systems – powering the company’s logistics centers are three 2.3 MWp, 1 MWp and 0.8 MWp photovoltaic plants. Meanwhile, the company’s refrigerated truck fleet is now propelled by 100% clean energy.


One of the key questions MD considered when developing its sustainability plan, was what type of refrigerant should it use at its new and renovated sites?





MD sought a low global-warming-potential (GWP) refrigerant that would allow it to move to a long-term, sustainable technology for new stores and remodelings.


Criteria for new refrigerant:

• Comply with long-term regulatory requirements at national and European level

• Contain lifecycle costs including investment, electricity and maintenance

• Lower overall emissions of both Scope 1 and Scope 2

• Reduce carbon footprint.


Solstice® L40X provided the lowest total cost of ownership and lowest overall environmental impact among the alternatives considered.



MD was already familiar with Honeywell Solstice® refrigerant brand. Several years ago, the retailer decided to retrofit its existing stores with Solstice® N40 (R-448A), extending the lifetime of its refrigeration assets while reducing their carbon footprint. For new stores and remodelings, it continued to use R-744 and glycol chilling systems.


Given the short timescale however in which to implement its growth and new store opening plans, MD decided to contact Honeywell for advice. Using its Eco-Efficiency model, validated by the independent technology consultant Cemafroid, Honeywell undertook a detailed analysis of MD’s sustainability requirements to identify a refrigerant solution that would meet its criteria.


After reviewing and discussing the options available, MD selected Honeywell Solstice® L40X (R-455A) refrigerant. Why? The analysis revealed that when used in the appropriate refrigeration system architecture, the Honeywell solution, was safe, reliable, flexible, and could be easily installed and serviced by refrigeration contractors.


As a next step, MD, Honeywell and ARNEG – a technology and turnkey solution provider to the food retail industry – decided to implement this refrigerant solution in a 1,500 sq m new MD supermarket in San Giovanni in Persiceto, near Bologna in northern Italy.


Expected results

At the MD store in Giovanni in Persiceto, Honeywell Solstice® L40X is projected to support a lifetime cost savings of approximately €260,000 and 25% lower lifetime emissions compared with carbon dioxide as a refrigerant for that store alone.


MD and Honeywell plan to monitor electricity consumption and other performance metrics at the store as part of a university PhD research project. If the results meet expectations, MD will roll out Solstice® L40X to most newly-built and remodeled supermarkets over the years ahead.


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[1] Results are based on data input from MD and specific analyses using Honeywell’s Eco-Efficiency model, which has been independently validated by Cemafroid. Solstice® is a registered trademark of Honeywell International Inc. Although Honeywell International Inc. believes that the information contained herein is accurate and reliable, it is presented without guarantee or responsibility of any kind and does not constitute any representation or warranty of Honeywell International Inc., either expressed or implied. A number of factors may affect the performance of any products used in conjunction with user’s materials, such as other raw materials, application, formulation, environmental factors and manufacturing conditions among others, all of which must be taken into account by the user in producing or using the products. The user should not assume that all necessary data for the proper evaluation of these products are contained herein. Information provided herein does not relieve the user from the responsibility of carrying out its own tests and experiments, and the user assumes all risks and liabilities (including, but not limited to, risks relating to results, patent infringement, regulatory compliance and health, safety and environment) related to the use of the products and/or information contained herein.

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