New commitment from major supermarkets and food and drink firms includes ’alternative refrigerants’ under 150 GWP alongside naturals
The Consumer Goods Forum has issued a new resolution for refrigeration, which includes a call for inclusion of HFCs in Montreal Protocol and a call to arms for members to deploy low GWP refrigerants in ’all commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment under its control along the food & beverage supply chain.’ For the first time, the commitment includes ultra low GWP alternatives - i.e. HFOs - alongside natural refrgerants.
The CGF members noted that a rapid phase down of HFCs and more sustainable management of refrigeration and systems is necessary to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 deg C, as set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. They also note that their previous Refrigeration Resolution in 2010 had helped stimulate development of alternativs to HFCs.
In a statement, the CGF said: ’’While the testing of pilots and introduction of natural refrigerants has been positive, the new resolution announced today is necessary to help drive further uptake and ensure HFCs are permanently removed from operational systems globally.’
The resolution covers four areas:
- In markets where viable,, to install new equipment that ultilises only natural refrigerants or alternative ultra-low GWP refrigerants (GWP under 150], effective immediately;
- In markets where barriers to deployment exist, to engage with suppliers, civil society, business partners and governments to overcome remaining technical, regulatory and other barriers in certain geographies and sectors, to enable the purchase of new equipment that utilise only natural refrigerants or alternative ultra-low GWP refrigerants as soon as possible and no later than 2025;
- Work to reduce the total equivalent environmental warming impact of existing and new refrigeration systems, including (but not limited to) improving energy efficiency, optimising refrigerant charge sizes, and minimizing refrigerant leaks;
- Develop individual targets and action plans to measure and achieve the above and regularly publish information on progress.
Furthermore, it said, ’we recognise that effective regulation is essential to ensure the equitable global phase down of HFCs and therefore call for the inclusion of HFCs within the Montreal Protocol, including transfer of technology and finance to support emerging markets.”
Announcing the resolution, Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury’s, said, “Once again CGF members are showing global and environmental leadership, and this latest move will play important role in achieving wider sustainability standards in the industry. As we move away from HFC gases and towards cleaner business practices, it’s crucial that the consumer goods industry continues to lead the way and stay ahead of the curve”.
Alan Clark, CEO of SABMiller, added: “Positive actions by leading global consumer goods companies over the last six years have proved the commercial and operational viability of low carbon refrigeration systems in many parts of the world. As part of our Prosper sustainable development ambition, SABMiller has a 2020 target to purchase no new HFC fridges. This new Refrigeration Resolution will help the whole industry move towards eliminating high global warming-potential refrigerants from our sector, as part of our active commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement”.