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ASHRAE joins forces with UN on Sustainable Cold Chain guide

Collaboration aims to offer alternatives to HCFCs for developing world’s cold chain

US refrigeration association ASHRAE has joined forces with the United Nations Environment Programme to develop and publish a new Guide for Sustainable Refrigerated Facilities and Systems. The $400,000 jointly funded project,scheduled for publication in early 2014 is the largest ASHRAE had undertaken with UNEP to date.

The Guide will address the entire range of facility and equipment design and efficiency alternatives for refrigerated processing, storage and distribution (the cold chain) in both developed and developing countries.  As global urbanisation continues, refrigerated storage and transport from farm to store is critical, ASHRAE said, whilefood spoilage is a significant sustainability problem, particularly in least developed countries.  Medicine storage and transportation is likewise critical.

The Guide is considered important as Parties to the Montreal Protocol face upcoming compliance deadlines. For developing countries, that means a freeze in HCFC consumption and production by Jan. 1, 2013, followed by a 10 per cent reduction in 2015 and 97.5 percent reduction by 2030. Currently, HCFC-22 is the preferred refrigerant for many facilities and systems, particularly for small-medium sized enterprises, but this ozone depleting gas is being phased out under the Montreal Protocol.

The Guide’s goal is to support the selection of alternatives while maintaining or improving energy efficiency across the entire cold chain and reducing the environmental footprint.  That, in turn, supports countries’ compliance with this international treaty and improves global sustainability, ASHRAE said  

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