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Historical relationship with HFCs is holding back natural refrigerants

The move towards the use natural refrigeration is continuing to gather pace as a growing number of major companies (users) makes the switch, however the transition is still being held back due to the historical relationship with HFCs.

Speaking at the 2010 Atmosphere natural refrigerants conference Janos Mate of Greenpeace pointed to the progressive work done by the likes of Coca Cola, who has pledged that all new vending machines will be HFC free by 2015, together with Unilever has deployed over 400,000 HC ice-cream freezers and PepsiCo which has over 8,000 HC and CO2 vending machines around the world with all new units in Turkey now HFC-free.

Mr Mate also identified several key supermarket chains across Europe including Tesco, REWE, Auchan, Sainsbury’s, Aldi Sud. Marks&Spencer, Woolworths, Waitrose, Auchan, REWE and Edeka which have all switched to natural refrigerants.

“Unfortunately there is a human factor when it comes to HFC usage that is holding back the take up of natural refrigerants due to established business links that are hard to undo.”

“To help make the switch there needs to be legislative measures to support the uptake including internalising the environmental costs of refrigerants through carbon taxes. Establishing rigorous efficiency standards for cooling equipment, set thorough GWP weighted upper limits for refrigerants and reviewing and removing obsolete standards that unnecessarily block natural refrigerants.”

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