(Sunbury, PA) -- A Weis Markets’ store in Hanover, Pa., has achieved an environmental milestone worthy of federal recognition. Weis Markets’ Carlisle Street store in Hanover is the first supermarket in the state of Pennsylvania to earn a certification award from the GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, a voluntary Environmental Protection Agency alliance with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change. The store attained a “silver” certificate by meeting tough benchmarks for cutting emissions that harm the earth’s protective ozone layer and contribute to global warming. “We’re pleased our Hanover store has achieved Green Chill’s silver certification level. While we have long focused on ways to conserve energy and lessen the environmental impact of our stores, this project represents an increased commitment on our part,” said David J. Hepfinger, Weis Markets’ President and CEO. “In the coming years, we will look for opportunities to incorporate these technologies into the stores we build or upgrade.” “This newly remodeled store represents quite an environmental achievement for Weis Markets,” according to Keilly Witman, manager of EPA’s GreenChill Partnership. “The Silver-Level Store Certification award puts them in a select group of environmental best-in-class supermarkets.” Just 26 of the nation’s 35,000 groceries have received GreenChill Store Certification awards, according to the EPA. To achieve silver certification, a store must meet stringent environmental criteria, including the following: --use refrigerants that do not damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer; --reduce the size of its refrigerant charge by at least 50 percent from the industry average; --reduce annual refrigerant emissions to 15 percent or less of total store capacity; --test refrigeration systems for adherence to GreenChill's leak tightness guidelines. “Our Hanover project allowed us to simultaneously improve our store and efficiently reduce the environmental impact of our refrigeration systems,” said Charlie Dinsmore, Weis Markets’ Director of Engineering and Store Service. By meeting or exceeding GreenChill certification criteria, Weis is helping to prevent deterioration of the Earth’s protective ozone layer and is combating climate change, the EPA says. Ozone in the upper atmosphere protects the planet from harmful ultraviolet radiation, which can cause skin cancer, cataracts and other ailments. But even refrigerants that don’t damage the ozone layer can contribute significantly to global warming. That’s why reducing store emissions is doubly important, the EPA adds. In addition, the GreenChill partnership is demonstrating that environmental leadership is good for business, too. By displaying the GreenChill logo, signifying their accomplishments, the retailers can attract more environmentally conscious shoppers, the EPA explains. GreenChill partners also have opportunities to share information about green refrigeration technology. GreenChill was launched in late 2007. Weis Markets became a partner in mid-2008. A formal in-store presentation is planned for this spring. Founded in 1912, Weis Markets operates 164 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and West Virginia.