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Refrigerants, naturally!

We are an initiative of international companies taking action against global warming and ozone layer depletion. We replace harmful greenhouse gases in our point-of-sales cooling and freezing units with climate-friendly natural refrigerants. Our goal is to make them the preferred cooling technology – in a safe, reliable and cost effective manner.

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Global distribution of natural refrigerant units

Closer look

Kumi NaidooExecutive director of Greenpeace

We welcome the commitments made by Refrigerants, Naturally! A world without the harmful climate changing effects of F-gases is entirely possible. We look to these companies to take a strong lead on this issue and help influence others to do the same.

Kumi Naidoo, International executive director of Greenpeace

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED The Refrigerants, Naturally! member companies have together successfully avoided the emission of around 43.5 million metric tonnes of CO2 through transition to natural refrigerants.

In 2004 the members of Refrigerants, Naturally! together with Greenpeace and UN Environment, set out to accomplish an ambitious mission. That mission was, to set clear, industry-leading targets, with each members’ CEO support, for an accelerated transition from F-gas refrigerants such as HFCs, HCFCs and CFCs to natural refrigerants. In numbers this meant, that the members of Refrigerants, Naturally! aimed at 100% F-gas free procurement in new point of sale systems wherever technically and legally feasible.

The members even went above and beyond their initial mission goal, when the members decided to actively engage with political decision makers and refrigerant equipment manufacturers to make the 100% natural refrigerant goal possible, even where at first it seemed technically and legally impossible.

Direct competitors worked together to create a global impact and move the industry toward improving their carbon footprint and making cooling and freezing technology environmentally sustainable. Through technical information sharing and network development the Refrigerants, Naturally! members actively supported the development and dissemination of the know how to service natural refrigerant-based systems and promoted innovation and best practice to non-members, particularly for markets in developing countries and emerging economies.

By directly communicating to influential audiences, including trade associations, suppliers, policy makers and customers, the members changed the perception of natural refrigerant technology at a global level. Demonstrating and communicating the business case for natural refrigerants at a tangible level enabled the global dissemination of highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly point of sale cooling and freezing equipment. Through joint and evidence-based advocacy in support of natural refrigerants, national and regional regulation and standardisation was updated to allow the widespread use of natural refrigerant equipment.

Refrigerants, Naturally! actively supported the Kigali Agreement of the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol whereby 197 nations agreed to amend the Protocol and reduce the global manufacture and use of HFCs by 80-85% by 2045.

By the end of 2017 the Refrigerants, Naturally! members* had collectively implemented 7.25 million natural refrigerant units. These units have prevented the emission of around 43.5 million metric tons of CO2. This is equal to the annual emissions of more than 8.86 million passenger vehicles.

By the end of 2017 three of the member companies had reached their 100% natural refrigerant procurement goal, with the last member company to reach that goal in 2020. It is rare that an initiative with such ambitious goals can say: Mission Accomplished. With the collective efforts of PepsiCo, Red Bull, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever, the Refrigerants, Naturally! Initiative is able to proudly say: “Mission Accomplished!”

The members collectively decided to officially end the active engagement in the Refrigerants, Naturally! Initiative by the end of 2017, creating space for new ventures looking at other aspects of cooling to be addressed by a new generation of companies.

The member companies would like to thank all involved stakeholders for their active support. Member companies also thank Greenpeace and UN Environment, without whose support the success of the initiative would not have been as far reaching and impactful as it has been.

The members call on other industry stakeholders and end-users of refrigeration and freezing equipment to follow their example and collectively make possible what seems impossible. Phasing out F-gas refrigeration and freezing systems has been made possible by the collaborative efforts of direct competitors. It is now up to the industry to follow their example.

(*Numbers are based on the systems collectively implemented by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Red Bull and Unilever. The numbers and saved emissions of former members are not counted in the numbers presented here.)

Reductions and Benefits so far

7.25 million

Units using

Natural Refrigerants

By the end of 2017 – 13 years after the start of Refrigerants, Naturally!  – we have collectively placed 7.25 million units using natural refrigerants worldwide. These reductions have prevented the emission of around 43.5 million metric tons of CO2. This is equal to the annual emissions of more than 8.86 million passenger vehicles.

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Tackling climate change

The technology for climate-friendly refrigeration is already available today. Our member companies and their suppliers have developed, tested and placed on the market equipment using natural refrigerants. Our vision is to make natural refrigerants the technology of choice for end-users and suppliers worldwide. Therefore, we invest in the development of appliances and support positive regulatory and political framework.

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Reducing Greenhouse Gases

Synthetic refrigerants add significantly to the destruction of the ozone layer. Therefore their phase-out started under the Montreal Protocol in the 1980s. The ozone-friendly successors however, the hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs, contribute up to 4,000 times more than CO2 to global warming.

Today there is a sustainable alternative on the market – natural refrigerants. In the amounts used in refrigeration they have no or only negligible impact on the climate.

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