The Drivers of Change for Zero Emissions with Jim McClendon

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This week our guest is the one and only Jim McClendon.  Jim is the Director of Engineering for Refrigeration at Walmart.  He has been involved in many of the largest refrigeration technology advancements over the last 20 years.  

Jim is a legend in the industry and is always pushing the bounders for technology improvements.  We learn about Jim’s refrigeration journey how he started in the field working in many roles to even owning his own refrigeration business.  

Through his hard work and determination, he has become a leader in this industry by investing in himself each day as well as investing in the people around him. This is a great episode and here are a few of the topics we discuss:

Experimental stores back in the early 2000s

Different prototypes of refrigeration technologies

Why being an early adopter can be challenging.

The early stages and implementation of CO2 systems

Why retrofits are more complex than building a new store with newer technology.

Today’s CO2 and Low GWP technology advancements

Learning from a supportive team and a CEO who told him, “When you don’t have failures you are not trying hard enough.”

Plus, much more….



Connect with Jim on LinkedIn –

Email Jim@
James.Mcclendon@walmart.com mention the refrigeration mentor podcast

James has over 30 years of experience in the HVAC/R and mechanical systems arena representing the designer, the contractor, the owner and the manufacture. He is currently the Director of Systems Engineering & Design, Sustainability for Walmart Stores. 

He is responsible for developing and leading strategy for the Walmart Corp ‘Zero Emissions’ goal in the areas of transitioning the (~700 million sq. ft.) building portfolio to low impact refrigeration systems and converting to non-fossil fuel based heating equipment (HVAC). This includes technology exploration, application and design development, demonstration testing and program approach for retrofit/replacement phasing and capital allocation forecasting.

James also leads the ‘end-of-life’ (EOL) replacement strategy for aging HVAC/R assets as well as refrigerant footprint management in terms of inventory, banking (for risk mitigation) and GWP/GHGP/emissions impacts. He further leads energy efficiency reduction strategies associated with, and integral to, the Zero Emissions system/equipment refresh programs. 

James manages both an in-house engineering team, as well as a large consultant base, in providing project & initiative identification, technical & economic feasibility vetting, budget allocation and planning-deployment strategy.

Mr. McClendon holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arkansas as well as Associate Technical Degrees in electronics and refrigeration technology. He is a past recipient of the “Sam W. Walton, Entrepreneur of the Year” award and has received the “Legend in Energy” award from the Association of Energy Engineers. James was a co-founder of the Department of Energy’s ‘Better Building Alliance’ and holds two U.S. Patents in energy efficiency technologies.


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Supermarket Workshop Series Part 3 – Refrigeration TEVs, Distributors and Troubleshooting

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