Progress Slows on HFC Elimination

June 24, 2015

Report shows refrigerants could reduce GHG emissions, energy use.

U.S. retailers are not moving rapidly enough to stop the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the potent greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, says a new report.

Beyond the Dirty Dozen from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a non-governmental organization, studied eleven of the biggest supermarket chains in the U.S. and found that while organizations are willing to commit to cleaner technology in theory, very few concrete actions have been taken, with American supermarkets lagging behind their European and Asian counterparts.

While retailers have been slow to come around, the report notes real benefits to the eco-friendly options, including data that shows the switch could reduce supermarket facility carbon footprints by 25% and save up to 50% on energy. Three types of natural refrigerants are suggested to replace HFCs in supermarket applications: hydrocarbons such as isobutene, propane, and propylene, ammonia, and carbon dioxide. 

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