FACT SHEET: Obama Administration and Private-Sector Leaders Announce Ambitious Commitments and Robust Progress to Address Potent Greenhouse Gases
President Obama believes that no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change, and his Administration is committed to taking responsible steps to ensure that we leave our children a planet that is not polluted or damaged. Today, the White House announced a suite of new private-sector commitments and executive actions that will reduce the use and emissions of the potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). In addition, the White House recognized the robust progress that has been made against the private-sector commitments and executive actions that were announced in September 2014 to address HFCs. In the past year, a series of actions have been taken that will cut consumption of HFCs by the equivalent of more than 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) through 2025. Moreover, the private-sector commitments and executive actions announced to-date will slash U.S. reliance on HFCs and reduce cumulative global consumption of these greenhouse gases by the equivalent of more than 1 billion metric tons of CO2 through 2025. This is equivalent to taking 210 million passenger vehicles off the road for a year.
HFCs are factory-made chemicals that are primarily used in air conditioning, refrigeration, and foam insulation, and they can be up to 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change. Absent ambitious action to limit their use, emissions of HFCs are expected to nearly triple in the U.S. by 2030.
When the President launched his Climate Action Plan, he pledged to reduce emissions of HFCs through both domestic and international leadership. This past July, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program that will prohibit the use of certain HFCs where safer and more climate-friendly alternatives are available. Simultaneously, EPA also listed as acceptable additional climate-friendly alternatives in order to expand the options for businesses to use chemicals that are less harmful to the environment.
As a complement to those regulatory measures, today’s commitments and progress demonstrate that U.S. companies are at the cutting edge when it comes to developing the next generation of safe and cost-effective alternatives to HFCs and also incorporating these alternatives into American cars, air conditioners, refrigerators, foams, and other products. These announcements come from a diverse set of companies – including producers of the chemicals, manufacturers of equipment that use HFCs, and end-users – which demonstrates that companies throughout the HFC supply chain are stepping forward to phase out or phase down the use of HFCs and transition to alternatives with lower global warming potential (GWP).
Today’s announcements also highlight U.S. leadership in addressing HFCs in advance of the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Dubai in two weeks (November 1-5). The U.S. has been working to negotiate an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs globally, and our bilateral announcements with China, India, Brazil, and others recognize the need to advance progress on managing HFCs through the Montreal Protocol. With strong international action on HFCs, up to 0.5°C of warming could be avoided by the end of the century, substantially furthering our goal to limit global temperature rise.
New Commitments from the Private Sector
Chemours today announced that its OpteonTM family of low-GWP products is anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally by 300 million tons of CO2 equivalent by 2025, which represents more than a 20 percent increase from its September 2014 projections. In addition, Chemours today agreed to control and, to the extent feasible, eliminate by-product emissions of HFC-23 at all its fluorochemical production facilities worldwide. Furthermore, Chemours today agreed to use in the U.S. only feedstock HCFC-22 from producers that control and, to the extent feasible, eliminate by-product emissions of HFC-23 at their production facilities in North America. Chemours was created through the spin-off of DuPont Performance Chemicals in July 2015, and it continues to facilitate the global transition to more sustainable refrigerants as the largest global supplier of HFO-1234yf.
Daikin Industries Ltd. today announced its commitment to strictly control and, to the extent feasible, eliminate by-product emissions of HFC-23 at its fluorochemical production facilities worldwide. Daikin’s plant in Decatur, Alabama, was the first plant in the U.S. that committed to the destruction of HFC-23 when it started operations in 1994. Today’s commitment extends to all Daikin facilities worldwide and is estimated to reduce global emissions by almost 7 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. Daikin recently also announced that it is offering companies worldwide free access to 93 patents in order to encourage the development and commercialization of comfort cooling and heating technologies that use R-32 – a refrigerant with a lower global warming impact than most common refrigerants in use today – as a single-component refrigerant. Daikin is one of the world’s largest air conditioner and refrigerant manufacturers.
Danfoss today announced its multi-million dollar investment in a state-of-the-art application development and testing center in North America that will help to facilitate the transition to low-GWP refrigerants through providing air conditioning and refrigeration manufacturers with additional capacity to test new equipment using low-GWP refrigerants for performance and safety. The center is anticipated to come online in 2016 and it will accommodate equipment sizes up to 150 tons of refrigeration. Danfoss is an international manufacturer of high-efficiency products used in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems.
Demilec today announced the planned release of its first hydrofluoroolefin (HFO)-blown spray foam insulation with availability by mid-2016. In addition, today it announced that it plans to completely transition to HFO-blown insulation by the end of 2017. Demilec is a polyurethane insulation foam company in the business of lowering energy consumption and promoting sustainable products in the building envelope. With a focus on sustainability, Demilec’s closed cell products currently contain over 20 percent renewable recycled content. This year, Demilec will recycle the equivalent of 35 million plastic bottles. Demilec, one of the industry’s largest spray foam companies, has provided insulation solutions for over 30 years.
Dow Chemical today announced its commitment to the elimination of high-GWP HFCs in its spray foam adhesive product line. More specifically, Dow Building Solutions is reformulating their one component spray foam adhesive product line for the commercial roof adhesive market to use low-GWP blowing agents instead of HFCs. In addition, its tile roof spray foam adhesive product line will be transitioned to low-GWP blowing agents in the next two to three years. Together, these actions will avoid approximately 200,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. Dow Chemical is a global advanced materials, specialty chemicals, and plastics company.
Fomo Products today announced that 95 percent of its one component aerosol can products will be converted from HFCs to HFOs and hydrocarbons by summer 2016. In addition, today it announced that 25 percent of all of its low-pressure spray polyurethane foam formulations will be converted from HFCs to HFOs by summer 2016. Fomo Products is one of the largest producers of low-pressure polyurethane products in North America.
Hillphoenix today announced that it will launch in Q4 2015 a CO2 booster system that is intended for stores with a smaller footprint. In addition, it announced that it has completed its second commercial installation of an ammonia / CO2 cascade system for use in supermarket applications. Furthermore, based on its successful installation of the first two CO2 ice rinks in Anchorage, Alaska, Hillphoenix is planning for the future introduction of this CO2 booster system technology, contingent on EPA approval of CO2 as a refrigerant in ice rink applications. Hillphoenix is a Dover Company and a manufacturer of commercial refrigerated display cases and specialty products, refrigeration systems, integrated power distribution systems, and walk-in coolers and freezers.
Honeywell today announced that its Solstice® line of low-GWP products is anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally by 475 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025, which represents a 36 percent increase from its September 2014 projections. In addition, Honeywell today committed that, to the extent possible, it will use feedstock HCFC-22 from producers that strictly control and, to the extent feasible, eliminate by-product emissions of HFC-23 at their production facilities worldwide. Honeywell is a global technology and manufacturing company that serves customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials.
Ingersoll Rand has announced that it will reduce its refrigerant-related emissions from products by 50 percent and emissions from its operations by 35 percent by 2020. It will also invest $500 million on research and development (R&D) for long-term emissions reductions. As part of this commitment, Ingersoll Rand today announced that Thermo King trailer, self-powered truck, and marine refrigeration products with strong efficiency performance and a lower-GWP refrigerant will be available to U.S. customers by 2017, contingent on SNAP approval. In addition, the Trane high-performance chiller portfolio with low-GWP refrigerant alternatives will be available in the U.S. by the end of 2018, with commercial availability dependent on receiving SNAP approval for some new refrigerants. Ingersoll Rand is focused on creating comfortable, sustainable, and efficient environments.
Johnson Controls, Inc. today announced multiple actions that it is committed to taking over the course of the next year. In response to changing market conditions and the preferences of some of its customers, Johnson Controls will expand the availability of high-efficiency, low-GWP refrigerant options in its commercial air conditioning and industrial refrigeration product portfolio; offer new equipment that can be readily retrofitted in the future with high-efficiency, low-GWP options for customers who are concerned that they will not receive the full economic and environmental benefit over the entire life of their HFC equipment; and develop aftermarket retrofit services to address the installed base of HFC equipment for customers that want to convert their existing equipment to low-GWP refrigerants. To support the safe use of some mildly-flammable, low-GWP refrigerants, Johnson Controls is pledging up to $100,000 to accelerate and fund independent, third-party, peer-reviewed research to help develop practical and fact-based safety standards related to the use of these refrigerants. In addition, it is making a commitment to support and participate in the development and standardization of service technician and operator training for the safe use of these refrigerants. Johnson Controls’ Building Efficiency business delivers products, services, and solutions that increase energy efficiency and lower operating costs in buildings.
NCFI Polyurethanes today announced several commitments in support of its goal to convert its entire commercial construction product line to low-GWP products. First, it announced that it will complete the formulation of roofing foams to use low-GWP blowing agents by 3Q 2015. Second, NCFI Polyurethanes announced that it will complete the formulation of open- and closed-cell polyurethane foam wall spray with climate-friendly blowing agents by 4Q 2015. Third, it announced that it will complete the formulation of an entire construction products line with low-GWP blowing agents by the end of 2016. Finally, NCFI Polyurethanes announced that it will complete the formulation of low-GWP custom formulated product foams (taxidermy, automobile, marine, and medical) by the end of 2016. Reformulation will also be complete for rigid molding and integral skin foams in the same time period, prior to their transition compliance dates. NCFI Polyurethanes is a division of Barnhardt Manufacturing Company and a leader in the manufacturing of flexible polyurethane foam. It offers a complete line of flexible foams for furniture seating, transportation seating, bedding, carpet underlay, and packaging. In addition, it innovates polyurethane foam solutions for spray foam insulation, roofing, marine flotation, packaging, specialty molding, and many other uses.
Roundy’s Supermarkets, Inc. today announced that it has joined EPA’s GreenChill program, which is a partnership between EPA and food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change. Roundy’s also announced that it will use HFC-free transcritical CO2 refrigeration technology in the six new stores that it is opening in in the following locations next year: Orland Park, Illinois; Westmont, Illinois; Naperville, Illinois; two stores in Chicago, Illinois; and Shorewood, Wisconsin. Starting in 2016, Roundy’s will use this technology in all new store builds. In addition, today it announced that it will also use this technology in all future store remodels that involve the replacement of the entire refrigeration system. Roundy’s is a retail grocery company that serves customers throughout Wisconsin and in the greater Chicago area under four retail banners: Pick ‘n Save, Copps, Metro Market, and Mariano’s. In 2014, Roundy’s became the first grocer in Wisconsin, and the third in the U.S., to utilize a transcritical CO2 refrigeration system.
Target today announced that all of the new stand-alone coolers in its stores with a compressor capacity below 2,200 btu/hr will be HFC-free starting in January 2016. This action has Target moving out of HFC refrigerants in these applications long before the SNAP requirement comes into place in 2019. Target also announced its commitment to expand the use of CO2 refrigeration systems in new stores, and it currently has seven systems operating in Target stores and two additional stores under development that will use these refrigeration systems. In addition to using CO2 refrigeration systems, Target announced its plans to expand its use of HFO blends in refrigeration systems that are good candidates for this technology. Furthermore, Target announced that its College Park, Maryland, location received GreenChill certification. Target is an upscale discount retailer with more than 1,800 stores in the U.S.
Thermo Fisher Scientific today announced that it will transition its entire platform to hydrocarbons by 2020. In particular, 20 percent of its entire medical and laboratory cold storage portfolio will be HFC-free by the end of 2016, 65 percent of its refrigeration systems will be HFC-free by the end of 2017, and it will be 80 percent HFC-free on blowing agents by the end of 2017. At the same time, it will reduce the energy consumption of its entire cold storage portfolio by more than 50 percent by 2020. Thermo Fisher Scientific is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of scientific and medical cold storage equipment.
The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy today announced that it will work with the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI); ACCA – The Indoor Environment and Energy Efficiency Association; Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI); and EOS Climate to develop and implement a Reclaimed HFC Credit Bank that can be a component of the Global Refrigerant Management Initiative (GRMI) that was announced at the United Nations Secretary General's 2014 Climate Summit. GRMI is developing initiatives aimed at reducing global HFC emissions by 30 percent to 50 percent within 10 years. The Reclaimed HFC Credit Bank aims to utilize an HFC reclaim protocol under the American Carbon Registry to provide certified carbon credits for reclaimed HFC material, thereby helping to realize GRMI's commitment. The goal is to implement a market mechanism that allows building owners, manufacturers, and industry participants to expand the use of reclaimed HFCs. There will be a pilot project in 2016, with full implementation in the U.S. in 2017. The Reclaimed HFC Credit Bank is envisioned as being both consistent with, and further supportive of, domestic regulations concerning refrigerant management, including the extension of regulations issued under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act to HFCs.
The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) today announced that it has formed a committee of experts to identify and prioritize research projects needed to fill critical knowledge gaps for the safe use of mildly-flammable refrigerants, and that it will commit $1 million to this new research effort to support code and standard activities related to the use of such refrigerants.
New Executive Actions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will continue to both expand the list of climate-friendly alternatives and reduce the use and emissions of HFCs through the SNAP program. Today, EPA is announcing its intention to initiate a new rulemaking during the first half of 2016 that would both propose to add to the SNAP list additional low-GWP alternatives and propose to change the status of higher-GWP substances where safer options are available.
In September 2014, EPA announced that it would explore options to improve refrigerant management practices in the U.S. that have been leading to the emissions of climate-damaging HFCs. Today, Administrator Gina McCarthy signed a proposal that would apply the same rules to both ozone-depleting and HFC refrigerants. EPA estimates that this rule would further reduce HFC emissions by about 7 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2025. EPA intends to finalize this rule in 2016.
Also in September 2014, EPA announced that it would work with the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy and other interested governments, international agencies, private sector organizations, and civil society to organize a series of sector-specific workshops that would provide opportunities to share information on technologies, policies, and standards. The first workshop, concerning the food cold chain – or bringing food from farm to market – is scheduled for November 2015. EPA will both continue to work with these organizations as well as host other stakeholder meetings to ensure a continued robust information exchange.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the publication of a report that summarizes the results of the DOE-funded testing program to evaluate the performance of alternatives to HFCs in mini-split air conditioning units in high ambient temperatures. The testing program was conducted at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and guided by a panel of international technical experts from Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Italy, Japan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. The panel also included representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The testing program was launched in response to concerns that some stakeholders have raised about whether alternatives to HFCs can perform well in high ambient temperatures, and the results show that several viable replacements exist for both HCFC-22 and HFC-410A in those environments for mini-split air conditioning units. The report can be found at: http://web.ornl.gov/sci/buildings/research/equipment/
Also today, DOE announced a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the disposition of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner, including seeking new technologies to recycle these substances. The RFP seeks approaches to eliminate 8 million pounds of hazardous CFCs at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky, which enriched uranium for our nuclear stockpile during the Cold War.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) today announced a suite of new commitments. To demonstrate leadership through installing new technologies, the Navy's newest flight of DDG 51 class destroyers and newest amphibious transport dock ships will include new air conditioning and refrigeration plants that are expected to significantly reduce refrigerant greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, DoD commits to beginning the installation of low-GWP transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems at three U.S. commissaries in 2016. This action will build on prototype low-GWP refrigeration projects that DoD has carried out already.
To support R&D for alternatives to HFCs, DoD will make up to $3 million available over a three-year period to fund competitively-selected R&D projects that will mature the science of sustainable, non-ozone-depleting, low-GWP refrigerants for military applications. Also, the Army plans to set aside additional research funding over the next two years to evaluate HFC-free fire suppressants and refrigerants for military applications.
To demonstrate early compliance with new regulatory requirements related to HFCs, DoD’s goal is to update its existing Unified Facilities Criteria for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems in 2016 to require lower-GWP refrigerants that are identified under EPA’s SNAP program and that are commercially available and shown to be lifecycle-cost-effective and to result in decreased lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, DoD commits to converting refrigeration systems at European commissaries to low-GWP refrigerants by 2022. This builds on a prototype low-GWP refrigeration project that is already being carried out at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.
Finally, DoD today made a commitment to strengthening existing collaborations and creating mechanisms to build new military-to-military and industry partnerships to share information and lessons-learned on emissions reductions and lower-GWP alternatives. This commitment was kicked off yesterday by the Army, which is hosting a two-day information exchange at Aberdeen Proving Ground for researchers interested in HFC-free systems and methods for military unique fire and explosion protection. This information exchange includes participants from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, EPA, Sandia National Laboratory, and several coalition military partners including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Canada. The Navy will continue the momentum by participating and chairing meetings in late October 2015 and spring 2016, where it will discuss HFC management and lower-GWP alternatives with its NATO partners.
Progress Updates from the Private Sector
Since the following 22 private-sector companies and organizations made commitments in September 2014 that will avoid the equivalent of 700 million metric tons of CO2 through 2025, they have made robust progress against their commitments and are on track to deliver those emissions reductions. The Administration will continue to engage with these and other companies and organizations in order to understand how to best support further progress.
Arkema made commitments in September 2014 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 30 percent below 2012 levels by 2020 and to reduce its net energy purchases by an average of 1.5 percent per year through 2020. Arkema has achieved the first of those two goals already, and it is on track to meet the latter of those two goals through having reduced its net energy purchases by 2.9 percent in the past year. Arkema is also following through on its September 2014 commitment to control and, to the extent feasible, eliminate by-product emissions of HFC-23 at all its fluorochemical production facilities worldwide. Arkema is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of specialty industrial chemicals and high-performance materials for use in renewable energy technologies and other sectors.
Carrier made a commitment in September 2014 to pursue HFC-free refrigerants across the cold chain by 2020. In the past year, Carrier provided technical analysis to support SNAP approval of CO2 as a natural refrigerant for transport refrigeration. Also in the past year, it developed prototype natural refrigerant trailer units in the U.S. In addition to the more than 1,600 supermarkets in Europe using Carrier’s HFC-free natural refrigeration technologies for food retail, the company installed its first food retail units in China this year using natural refrigerants to help lower emissions. Also in the past year, Carrier installed its first ultra-low-GWP HFO chiller. Carrier is a global manufacturer and distributor of high-technology heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration solutions, and part of United Technologies Corp.
Chemours (formerly DuPont) announced in September 2014 that its new products were anticipated to reduce the greenhouse gas content of refrigerants by 90 million tons of CO2 equivalent in the U.S. and 245 million tons of CO2 equivalent worldwide by 2025. In support of that goal, Chemours commercialized four new low-GWP products in 2015 as part of its OpteonTM family of products. Chemours was created through the spin-off of DuPont Performance Chemicals in July 2015, and it continues to facilitate the global transition to more sustainable refrigerants as the largest global supplier of HFO-1234yf.
Coca-Cola announced in September 2014 that it had more than 1 million units of HFC-free equipment throughout its global system, in support of its goal for 100 percent of its newly-purchased cold drink equipment to be HFC-free. Today that number is 1.5 million HFC-free units, with nearly 100,000 of those units placed in North America. With more than 3,600 beverages available globally, Coca-Cola is the world’s largest beverage company.
Danfoss made a commitment in September 2014 to champion a stakeholder task force to accelerate the adoption of standards and building codes for low-GWP refrigerants. In the past year, Danfoss assembled a broad and diverse stakeholder group that has been working to support ASHRAE in the development of its refrigerant safety Standard 15. The stakeholder group has been actively working to raise awareness and educate model code groups to enlist their support in preparing codes once Standard 15 is ready. Danfoss is an international manufacturer of high-efficiency products used in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems.
Emerson Climate Technologies made a commitment in September 2014 to launch a full line of compressors and other components with non-flammable low-GWP HFCs and to expand its product offerings that use CO2 as a refrigerant. In the past year, Emerson released refrigeration scroll and semi-hermetic compressors and other components with a range of HFC-HFO blends. For the specific uses, these non-flammable refrigerants have less than half the GWP of the HFCs historically used. Also in the past year, Emerson introduced new compression technologies and also control technologies that drive energy efficiency improvements in CO2 refrigeration systems. In addition, Emerson released a line of higher-efficiency refrigeration scroll compressors. Finally, construction of the Emerson Innovation Center that was highlighted as part of the September 2014 commitment is on schedule and the opening is planned for December 2015. Emerson Climate Technologies is a global manufacturing and technology company in the heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration industry.
Goodman Global Inc. made a commitment in September 2014 to have a full product line of low-GWP air conditioners after EPA completed its evaluation under the SNAP program and approved the use of R-32, a lower-GWP refrigerant. Following up on that commitment, Goodman today announced that it will be offering for sale in 2016 the first-ever Package Terminal Air Conditioning (PTAC) system to utilize R-32, which has a significantly lower environmental impact than the most common refrigerants in use today due to R-32's lower GWP and significant energy use reduction. Goodman is an air conditioning and heating equipment manufacturer and a member of the Daikin Group.
Hillphoenix made commitments in September 2014 to commercialize a CO2 booster system, to introduce a hydrocarbon self-contained door case, and to introduce a re-engineered service that utilizes its door technology to retrofit existing open display cases. Hillphoenix has carried through on all three of those commitments in the past year. Related to the first commitment, approximately 50 stores have installed new AdvansorTM CO2 booster systems. Related to the second commitment, Hillphoenix has several HFC-free self-contained R-290 display cases in supermarket applications. Related to the third commitment, Hillphoenix’s Close-the-Case projects have enclosed over 12.3 miles of cases in 2015. This equates to $6.3 million in annual energy savings. Hillphoenix is a Dover Company and a manufacturer of commercial refrigerated display cases and specialty products, refrigeration systems, integrated power distribution systems, and walk-in coolers and freezers.
Honeywell made a commitment in September 2014 to transition the majority of its high-GWP HFC production to new low-GWP production and to reduce its high-GWP HFC production by nearly 50 percent on a CO2 equivalent basis by 2020. In the past year, Honeywell started up two production facilities in the U.S. to manufacture low-GWP materials and completed 17 long-term supply agreements with customers across a range of industrial sectors. These binding commitments will replace HFCs with a total GWP of 77 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Also in the past year, Honeywell shipped enough low-GWP Solstice® products to replace HFCs with 10 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Honeywell is a global technology and manufacturing company that serves customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials.
Johnson Controls Inc. made a commitment in September 2014 to spend $50 million over the next three years to develop new products and improve and expand its existing low-GWP portfolio. In the past year, Johnson Controls spent more than $15 million for R&D on equipment that uses low-GWP refrigerants and it is on track to meet its commitment. Johnson Controls’ Building Efficiency business delivers products, services, and solutions that increase energy efficiency and lower operating costs in buildings.
Kroger announced in September 2014 that it would join EPA’s GreenChill program. In doing so, it also made commitments to establish a refrigerant management inventory and set emissions reduction targets; use advanced refrigeration technologies in new and remodeled stores where possible; and collaborate across the industry to identify and share service and operational practices that reduce emissions. In the past year, Kroger set a 2015 emission reduction goal of 5 percent for all systems with more than 50 pounds of refrigerant (with a stretch goal of 8 percent); committed to installing a stationary electronic emission detection system in all new stores; and opened its first store using a transcritical CO2 refrigeration system. Kroger is one of the world’s largest retailers.
Lapolla made a commitment in September 2014 to transition its entire product line of foam and coating systems to no longer use high-GWP HFCs by 2016. Lapolla has already fully commercialized an HFO spray foam technology for both insulation and roofing systems, and it is in the process of converting all of its customers to this technology. The products are third-party tested, approved, and audited by independent testing laboratories in both the U.S. and Europe. While the cost of the technology is approximately 10 percent higher, the value in yield (product coverage) and R-value (insulation value) is almost 20 percent higher so the net result is a 10 percent cost reduction. Lapolla is a manufacturer and global distributor of spray foam insulation and reflective roof coating technology.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) made a commitment in September 2014 to have its energy efficiency incentives for residential refrigerators take into consideration the GWP of the refrigerants. While eligible low-GWP products are not currently commercially available in its market, LADWP continues to seek out such products that also meet its stringent requirements for cost effectiveness and high efficiency. LADWP is the largest municipal utility in the U.S.
Mission Pharmacal introduced in September 2014 three new spray products in the Dr. Smith’s® line, all of which use a low-GWP aerosol technology. In the past year, all three products have been successfully introduced into their respective markets. Notably, Mission introduced the first zinc oxide aerosol product utilizing the HFO-1234ze propellant, and it can be found in more than 15,000 retail stores across the U.S. Mission Pharmacal is a third-generation, family-owned and operated healthcare company whose focus is to bring safe, innovative, and high-quality products to physicians, patients, and consumers.
PepsiCo announced in September 2014 a goal that all of its future point of sale equipment – coolers, vending machines, and fountain dispensers – purchased in the U.S. would be HFC-free by 2020. It also announced that it would begin purchasing new HFC-free equipment starting in 2015 in order to meet that goal. Following up on that commitment, PepsiCo anticipates that it will have placed approximated 275 new HFC-free units in the U.S. by the end of this year. In the past year, PepsiCo established a team to facilitate additional placements of these units through addressing barriers related to technology, regulation, supply chain, and serviceability. Also in the past year, PepsiCo established several training programs for its technicians to ensure that the highest standards are met for the new equipment. PepsiCo is one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies.
Red Bull announced in September 2014 that it would order an estimated 32,000 climate-friendly hydrocarbon coolers for 2015 and implement ongoing training of cooler service technicians from six partner companies for the repair and proper disposal of those coolers. Both of those were intended to support its commitment to the 100 percent procurement of ECO-Coolers for the cooling of its beverages where technically and legally feasible. Following up on its announcement in September 2014, Red Bull has ordered more than 42,000 hydrocarbon coolers so far in 2015 and it anticipates that it will order 54,000 hydrocarbon coolers in 2016. In addition, 65 percent of all the coolers that it purchased in 2014 were ECO-Coolers. Finally, Red Bull has in the past year mandated and provided specialized training on end of life and repair of these coolers for all technicians handling hydrocarbon refrigerants. Since its inception in 1987, Red Bull energy drink has been distributed in over 167 countries, with more than 5.6 billion cans sold in 2014.
SEVO Systems made a commitment in September 2014 to enable a reduction of 12 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent by 2020 by transitioning to a low-GWP alternative. In the past year, SEVO Systems achieved a reduction of almost 2 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent by offering non-HFC solutions for fire suppression – utilizing state-of-the-art system hardware and design – in mission-critical hazards such as power plants, data centers, and oil and gas facilities. SEVO Systems is a global manufacturer of non-HFC fire system technologies.
Target made a commitment in September 2014 to install CO2 refrigeration systems in two stores in 2015, to partner with chemical producers to test HFOs, and to test HFC-free beverage coolers. In the past year, Target has taken several actions to meet and expand upon that commitment. First, it opened two food distribution centers utilizing HFC-free refrigerants for both the warehouse and the office space. Second, it opened two stores that use a hybrid CO2 / R-134a refrigeration system that will eliminate more than 150 metric tons of CO2 equivalent each. Third, Target installed prototype beverage display cases that use R-290 and it is conducting performance tests against CO2. Finally, it converted six existing stores to test a new generation of lower-GWP HFO-blend refrigerants. Target is an upscale discount retailer with more than 1,800 stores in the U.S.
Thermo King made a commitment in September 2014 to offer product alternatives and retrofit services – for marine, truck, and trailer applications – that are high-performance and energy-efficient and use a refrigerant with about half the GWP compared to what was used. These alternatives would be available in 2015-2016 in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and in the U.S. if EPA approves the alternative refrigerant. In the past year, Thermo King has successfully launched and is selling alternative trailer products and retrofit services in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. These trailer products use a next-generation, lower-GWP refrigerant and have breakthrough coil technology that requires 30 percent less refrigerant. Also in the past year, Thermo King has been preparing to commercialize next-generation trailer and self-powered truck product and retrofit alternatives for the U.S. market that will be available if EPA approves the alternative refrigerant. Thermo King is a brand of Ingersoll Rand that manufactures transport temperature control systems.
True Manufacturing made a commitment in September 2014 to use only low-GWP refrigerants and low-GWP blowing agents in all future general use and refrigeration product development. It also made a commitment to develop low-GWP replacements for its existing products over the next five years. In the past year, True Manufacturing improved its production line readiness so that it currently has the capacity to produce 70 percent of overall annual production in hydrocarbons. Also in the past year, it made 19 hydrocarbon models commercially available in its food service product line. By December 2015, True Manufacturing anticipates that 24 models will be commercially available in this product line. In addition, True Manufacturing anticipates that 90 percent of its Standard Glass Door Refrigerator product line will be available in hydrocarbons by December 2015. True Manufacturing is the largest manufacturer of self-contained commercial refrigeration in the nation.
The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy made commitments in September 2014 to take actions to support a Montreal Protocol amendment to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs and also to take actions and support policies with a goal to reduce the global HFC greenhouse gas contribution by 80 percent by 2050. In the past year, the Alliance has taken numerous actions in support of these commitments. For example, it participated in the India-U.S. HFC Task Force and other bilateral diplomatic efforts (e.g., China). In addition, it helped to facilitate the development of the DOE-funded High-Ambient Temperature Testing Program to evaluate the performance of alternatives to HCFC-22 and HFC-410A in air conditioning units in order to address the main technical concern that has hindered progress against a Montreal Protocol amendment. Furthermore, the Alliance is committed to working with a broad range of stakeholders to organize a series of sector-specific workshops in which participants will share information on aspects of the transition from high-GWP HFCs in order to guide and inform the reduction schedule. The first of the four workshops will take place in November 2015 and focus on the food cold chain, and the remaining three workshops will focus on air conditioning; foams; and fire suppression, solvents, and aerosols. Finally, the Alliance launched the Global Food Cold Chain Council and the Global Refrigerant Management Initiative. The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy is an industry coalition representing more than 95 percent of U.S. HFC production and a significant majority of the user industries.
The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) made a commitment in September 2014 to spend $5 billion in new R&D and capital expenditures to develop and commercialize low-GWP technologies over the next ten years. Following up on that commitment, AHRI’s member companies anticipate spending more than $255 million on such R&D and capital expenditures in 2015. In the past year, AHRI has continued to prioritize research on HFC alternatives through its Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (AREP). In addition, it helped to facilitate the development of the DOE-funded High-Ambient Temperature Testing Program to evaluate the performance of alternatives to HCFC-22 and HFC-410A in air conditioning units in order to address the main technical concern that has hindered progress against a Montreal Protocol amendment. Furthermore, it also launched the Global Refrigerant Management Initiative and three research projects that focus on: the risk profile of rooftop units that use mildly-flammable refrigerants; refrigerant management programs in place domestically and internationally; and energy produced by potential ignition sources in residential applications. Finally, it launched a joint effort with the United Nations Environment Programme called the Refrigerants Driving License (RDL) initiative. RDL is aimed at introducing globally-recognized minimum requirements and best practices for the sound management of refrigerants, and it will address refrigerant identification, handling, charging, recovery and recycling, leak testing, storing, and record keeping. AHRI is an industry association representing 90 percent of U.S. air conditioning, heating, water heating, and refrigeration manufacturing, and 70 percent of the global industry.
Progress Updates from the Federal Government
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in September 2014 that it would continue to expand the list of climate-friendly alternatives to both ozone-depleting substances and high-GWP HFCs and that it was working on its next listing notice under the SNAP program. Following up on that commitment, in the past 12 months, EPA finalized four separate actions addressing the SNAP lists. EPA finalized a rule in April 2015 that listed certain climate-friendly alternatives as acceptable in stand-alone commercial and household refrigerators and freezers, very-low-temperature refrigeration, non-mechanical heat transfer, vending machines, and room air conditioning units. In addition, EPA issued two Notices of Acceptability in October 2014 and July 2015 that expanded the SNAP program’s list of acceptable alternatives to include lower-GWP alternatives for refrigeration and air conditioning; foam blowing; solvent cleaning; aerosols; fire suppressants; and adhesives, coatings, and inks. Finally, EPA finalized a rule in July 2015 that will prohibit the use of certain HFCs where safer and more climate-friendly alternatives are available. That rule affects certain HFCs used in aerosols, foam blowing, motor vehicle air conditioning, and retail food refrigeration. EPA estimated that this action will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 to 64 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2025.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced in September 2014 that new R&D funding would be available to encourage next-generation, energy-efficient cooling technologies, including HVAC technologies that use alternative refrigerants and those that move beyond using refrigerants altogether. In April 2015, DOE announced nearly $2 million in funding to support two projects focused on improving the cost and performance of advanced vapor compression technologies that use refrigerants that have a minimal effect on the environment. At that same time, DOE announced nearly $6 million in funding to support five projects aimed at developing non-vapor compression technologies that will not use HFCs in refrigerants.
The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council has been working to fulfill the commitment made by the Administration in September 2014 to promote the use of safer alternatives to HFCs by Federal contractors. In May 2015, the Council proposed a rule to encourage contractors to procure alternatives to high-GWP HFCs when feasible. The proposed rule would also require limited contractor reporting to enable the Federal Government to better track progress and the impact of products containing HFCs. The Council – which is composed of representatives from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – expects to issue a final rule in the coming months.