Why retailers need to switch to sustainable refrigeration

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Cooling and refrigeration is a major contributor to global warming, accounting for twice the emissions of shipping and aviation combined. In fact, 7% of total greenhouse gas emissions come from cooling. In 2016, 197 countries signed the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, mandating a global phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons. HFCs – a type of F-gas – are harmful greenhouse gases used in the majority of today’s commercial refrigeration. In Europe, the resulting EU F-Gas regulation means that HFC supply will be reduced by 80% by 2030, with supply falling sharply from
2018. In spite of this, and the Kigali agreement,
40% of retailers across Europe say they are unaware of the regulatory requirements, and only 56% have started the transition away from HFCs. From 2018 non-compliant systems will become more expensive due to the reduced availability of HFC. Retrofitting refrigerant systems with lower
GWP alternatives, such as HFOs, can be an improvement, but could potentially be vulnerable to future regulation and typically results in higher running costs. Newly designed systems, using natural refrigerants such as propane and CO2, however, meet high environmental standards, can improve customer perception as a result and deliver large efficiency savings, reducing electricity demands by 10%. In fact, a natural refrigeration system can
often cover 100% of the heating demand of a retailer by recycling waste heat. With systems lasting between 10-15 years, selecting the right refrigerants will ensure we ‘future-proof’ our cooling systems
enabling both economic and sustainability benefits

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