EUROPE: The REAL Alternatives independent educational programme for low GWP refrigerants is to be expanded to nearly 220,000 technicians across Europe.

As part of its environment and climate action funding programme the European Commission will be co-financing REAL Alternatives for LIFE, a new and extended project to update existing content, develop new materials on applying safety standards and introduce a range of practical exercises and assessments. It will also include train the trainer events and study days across Europe. 

A high profile awareness campaign is also planned to encourage recognition of the training amongst employers, wholesalers, manufacturers, end users and policy makers. Ultimately, it is intended to deliver the REAL Alternatives for LIFE training to nearly 220,000 technicians across Europe.

The REAL Alternatives programme was originally developed by the UK’s Institute of Refrigeration and international partners and launched in 2015.

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for environment and climate action. It promotes innovative solutions and spread best practices in reducing emission and adapting to climate change across the European Union.

REAL Alternatives for LIFE will promote best practice in training for low GWP alternative HFOs, R32, hydrocarbon, carbon dioxide and ammonia across Europe – ensuring they are used safely, efficiently, reliably and cost-effectively. It will addressing some of critical barriers currently preventing more widespread adoption in the industry by increasing awareness, experience and knowledge levels. The project also intends to spread knowledge about the availability of training for low GWP refrigerants with a presence at some of the most important national, EU and global environmental summits, conferences and events.

Institutes, training organisations and trade bodies across thirteen countries will be working together on this important international project which starts this month and will run for three years. It will operate in thirteen working languages and include fifteen partner organisations based in UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain, Romania, Denmark, Portugal, and Turkey.

The project management team includes the Institute of Refrigeration and London South Bank University in the UK, University College Limburg in Belgium, IKKE regional training centre in Germany, ATF trade association in Italy, PROZON Foundation for climate protection refrigerant reclamation organisation, International Institute of Refrigeration in France, and AREA.

Further information from www.realalternatives.eu.

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