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Group supports natural refrigerants

NASRCUSA: Leading companies from all sectors of the US supermarket refrigeration industry have formed an association to promote the transition to “natural” refrigerants.

Members of the new North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) include service contractors, systems manufacturers, policy specialists, component manufacturers and supermarket end-users. The companies involved are Whole Foods Market, Hillphoenix, Danfoss, Carter Retail Equipment, True Manufacturing, Parker Hannifin, KW Refrigerant Management Strategy and Source Refrigeration & HVAC Inc.

“The purpose of the organisation is to bring together stakeholders who believe that advancing natural refrigerants is a win-win for the environment and business,” said NASRC executive director Liz Whiteley.

UltraCella“Today, we finally have proven technologies that use natural refrigerants, but we need to achieve economies of scale in order to have a dramatic impact on our climate footprint.”

“For decades, the supermarket industry has been looking for environmentally friendly refrigerants, but the options were stop-gap measures that were still problematic,” said Keilly Witman, owner of KW Refrigerant Management Strategy. “We finally have really good options, which is very exciting.”

Prior to founding KW Refrigerant Management Strategy, Witman ran the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership, which grew to encompass more than 8,500 supermarkets during her tenure.

“We have the technology. We know what needs to be done,” said Tristam Coffin, sustainable facilities coordinator at Whole Foods Market. “It’s a question of overcoming hurdles so we can move ahead as fast as we’d like.”

NASRC’s first-year priorities will centre on training service technicians to work with natural refrigerants; helping to establish local building codes; encouraging utilities to establish incentives for natural refrigerant use; and working with the US Environmental Protection Agency and equipment-certification organisations to speed up approval of alternative refrigerant technologies.

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