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Nordic countries exclude HFCs from public procurement

DENMARK: The Nordic Council of Ministers has released new public procurement guidelines which exclude HFC refrigerants in refrigeration and air-conditioning, where alternative low GWP or zero GWP refrigerants are approved.

The main purpose of the document is to increase the proportion of products with natural refrigerants in public procurement by excluding the use of HFCs and HFOs where possible. In cases where these products do not exist, only refrigerants with a GWP of less than 675 will be allowed for air-to-air and air-to-water heat pumps. Other products will be assessed on the basis of GWP, energy efficiency and the use of HFC in insulation.

The Nordic Council is the official body for formal inter-parliamentary Nordic cooperation among the Nordic countries. Formed in 1952, it has 87 representatives from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden as well as from the autonomous areas of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Åland Islands.

The refrigeration and air conditioning sector in the Nordic countries is said to contain a total of around 43.5MtCO2e. To break it down, 16.7MtCO2e are installed in stationary air conditioning, 13.8 MtCO2e in medium and large refrigeration systems and commercial stand-alone appliances, and 0.6MtCO2e in stand-alone household appliances. It is estimated that approximately 10% are publicly owned installations

Green public procurement

While some Nordic countries like Finland and Denmark have already published green public procurement (GPP) criteria on alternatives to high GWP HFCs for certain RAC applications, it is felt that a new wider approach is needed.

To assist contracting authorities in identifying and procuring low GWP RAC products, green procurement criteria have been developed for 25 product groups.

In cases where RAC products exist with natural refrigerants, the selection criterion is:

1. Only products with natural refrigerants (hydrocarbon, ammonia, CO2 or other natural refrigerants) will be selected.

The main objective is to achieve more green public procurement of low GWP RAC products, and by setting a GPP selection criteria threshold that excludes all HFCs and HFOs, where possible, it assures that only natural refrigerant RACs will be procured.

In cases where RAC products do not exist with natural refrigerants but with various low GWP refrigerants based on HFCs and HFOs, the selection criterion is:

2. Only products using refrigerants with a GWP of 675 or lower will be selected.

This GPP criterion is relevant to small and large split A/C (below/above 12kW) and heat pumps up to 200 kW (air-water, air-air, air-brine).

For RAC product categories with no low HFC or HFO alternatives, the objective will be to achieve the best possible environmental performance. This will be implemented through the award criteria. This case is relevant only for roof top air conditioners.

The document can be found here.

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