The Board of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) today announced a new resolution on refrigeration, calling on all consumer goods companies to phase out harmful hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This ambitious new commitment is seen as a vital next step in helping to meet the goal of keeping the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C. HFCs represent 1.5 percent of total warming potential today, and are expected to increase to 6-9 percent of total GHG by 2050 unless action is taken.
The resolution focuses on four key areas; the installation of new refrigeration equipment in markets where viable, the engagement with key stakeholders to overcome barriers in markets where installation is not currently viable, the reduction of the environmental impact of existing refrigeration systems and the development of individual targets and action plans to measure the first three points.
The Board also recognises the important role that regulation plays in ensuring the equitable global phase down of HFCs and thus calls for the inclusion of HFCs within the Montreal protocol.
Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury's, said, "Once again CGF members are showing global and environmental leadership, and this latest move will play important role in achieving wider sustainability standards in the industry. As we move away from HFC gases and towards cleaner business practices, it's crucial that the consumer goods industry continues to lead the way and stay ahead of the curve."
Alan Clark, CEO of SABMiller, said, "Positive actions by leading global consumer goods companies over the last six years have proved the commercial and operational viability of low carbon refrigeration systems in many parts of the world. As part of our Prosper sustainable development ambition, SABMiller has a 2020 target to purchase no new HFC fridges. This new Refrigeration Resolution will help the whole industry move towards eliminating high global warming-potential refrigerants from our sector, as part of our active commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement."
Building on the industry's results following the CGF's 2010 Refrigeration Resolution
Back in 2010, when the CGF's original Refrigeration Resolution was announced, refrigeration was already playing a key role in the consumer goods industry, but the low carbon technologies to replace HFCs were unproven. The CGF, therefore, decided to show leadership by taking the decision to commit to trialling new approaches to refrigeration by 2015.
As a consequence, CGF members have installed low carbon refrigeration systems in over 4,000 supermarkets, four million ice cream and drinks chiller units worldwide and industrial plants with the majority being natural refrigerants. The recently-published Refrigeration Booklet also highlights these successes and more. The 2010 Refrigeration Resolution was closed in January 2016.
The CGF, however, acknowledges that while the testing of pilots and introduction of natural refrigerants has been positive, the new resolution announced today is necessary to help drive further uptake and ensure HFCs are permanently removed from operational systems globally.
This second Refrigeration resolution is the fourth environmental resolution as part of the CGF Sustainability Pillar, complementing the other active resolutions on deforestation and food waste.