Sainsbury’s has revealed it is piloting a naturally refrigerated trailer to transport chilled and frozen goods.

The CO2 refrigerated unit is part of the supermarket’s strategy to slash its carbon footprint by reducing depot to store transport emissions by 35% by 2020, with an absolute reduction of 50% by 2030.

Nick Davies, Sainsbury’s head of transport operations, said: “We will be monitoring its performance closely and if successful, in line with our replacement plan, it could help us save over 70,000 tonnes of CO2 compared to the current refrigerated trailer fleet.”

The two year trial with Carrier Transicold uses a modified version of Carrier’s NaturaLine refrigeration system, which was initially developed for deep-sea containers.

David Appel, president of Carrier Transicold, said: “This is the very first time that our NaturaLine system has been mounted to a box trailer anywhere in the world.  It’s also much better news for the environment because natural refrigerant CO2 is non-ozone depleting.”

Sainsbury’s recently extended its dual-fuel fleet to 51 vehicles.  Each dual-fuel vehicle is claimed to produce 41 tonnes less CO2 annually than a conventionally-powered truck.