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Refrigerants Australia founder is honoured

AUSTRALIA: Steve Anderson, a driving force behind Australia’s environmental refrigerant management achievements, has received the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Anderson’s recognition, for “service to the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry through the development of environmental policy”, was included in the honours list published to coincide with today’s Australia Day celebrations. 

From 1989 to his retirement in 2014, Anderson was a catalyst for innovation in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. He was a founder and executive director of the Refrigerants Australia association of suppliers and users, which was originally established to formulate an industry response to the Montreal Protocol. 

During his stewardship, Anderson worked closely with the Commonwealth to agree phase out schedules that pushed industry to move away from substances that had negative impacts on ozone or climate change. He also worked with the industry he represented to be flexible and to push themselves to accept change. 

Refrigerants Australia developed a number of significant voluntary initiatives to minimise the emissions of refrigerants to the atmosphere, including training and certification programmes, a ban on disposable containers and the establishment of a national product stewardship organisation, Refrigerant Reclaim Australia.

Congratulating him on his award, Greg Picker, current executive director of Refrigerants Australia, said: “He positioned the industry to work collaboratively with government and to take necessary steps – typically at significant cost and risk – to deliver improved environmental outcomes. The results of these efforts are both astonishing and substantive.”

The Order of Australia was established in 1975 to recognise Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service. Prior to 1975, Australian citizens received British honours.

Steve Anderson was one of 1127 people, including Kylie Minogue and Olivia Newton-John, who were made companions, officers or members of the Order of Australia, or received the medal of the Order of Australia.

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