ATMOsphere, a global market accelerator of clean cooling and heating solutions, and publisher of R744.com, has approved the ATMO Approved Natural Refrigerants Label for Zero-C, a Canadian-Swiss refrigeration manufacturer.

ATMOsphere (formerly shecco) launched the label in June 2022 as a global gold standard highlighting best-in-class manufacturers of natural refrigerant systems and components around the world. Labels were also approved in 2023 for SCM Frigo, M&M Carnot, Zudek, MIRAI Intex, Novum and Temprite. In 2024, GTS, Nihon Netsugen Systems and Refra have been approved, Fenagy has been reapproved, and Secon, Güntner, TEKO and M&M Carnot have been reapproved for the second time.

In November 2023, ATMOsphere opened label registration for 2024 with a new category for contractors and installers who accelerate the adoption of natural refrigerant-based cooling and heating solutions. To date, contractors SURE Solutions and General Refrigeration have been approved for the label.

Reapproval for the label takes place annually. Registration for the 2024 label can be found here, along with additional information.

“Zero-C’s team is thrilled to become part of the ATMOsphere movement that pursues our collective objective to drive forward the transition to natural refrigerants with unwavering dedication,” said David Bastrash, General Manager of Zero-C. “Being awarded the ATMO label will not only elevate Zero-C’s exceptional industrial refrigeration and heat pump solutions but also amplify our visibility worldwide and ultimately advance our mission.”

The ATMOsphere label is designed to help qualified manufacturers to market products to new customers and regions in the natural refrigerants marketplace, including products using CO2 (R744) and ammonia (R717). In addition, the label is meant to help end users identify best-in-class suppliers.

Once approved, companies can place the ATMOsphere Natural Refrigerant Label in a myriad of places, such as directly on products, marketing material, email signatures, company pitches and trade show booths.

“The label will be very visible in the global marketplace, and companies can take advantage of this to strengthen their brand,” noted Marc Chasserot, ATMOsphere Founder and CEO.

“By being global and multi-application, this label can help to create trust across the new applications and regions,” added Chasserot. “We want to use this multi-year label process to help move the market to cleaner solutions with natural refrigerant solutions over time.”

Founded in 1969, Zero-C has offices in Canada and Switzerland. It manufactures commercial and industrial refrigeration systems based on natural refrigerants CO2 and ammonia for food warehouses and processing facilities, retail stores, arenas, schools and hospitals. Its customers include Walmart, Sobeys, Metro, Congebec, Canadawide and Emblème Canneberge. Canadian logistics operator Groupe Robert will be using an integrated CO2 HVAC&R system made by Zero-C for an automated vertical cold-storage facility. Zero-C entered the European market in 2008 with the purchase of Climat Gestion S.A.

Three pillars

To qualify for an ATMOsphere label, manufacturers have to demonstrate excellence across three pillars:

1) company vision;

2) customer satisfaction (measured via testimonials from multiple end users confirming the reliability, performance and service of these companies and products); and

3) measurable impact.

Jean-François Vallée, VP Engineering for Canadian logistics provider Congebec, commented on its installation of Zero-C’s CO2 refrigeration system for a new cold storage warehouse, following seven months of operation. “The start-up and commissioning was very smooth, and the system is very stable and reliable,” he said. “The system look very energy efficient, and we are anxious to compile all the consumption data after a full year in service.”

Added Vallée: “Zero-C has been a very good partner in the project and has delivered a high level of service.”

New criteria

The 2024 label also includes training criteria for the first time for new applications and renewals. “We want to recognize a proactive approach to training customers, partners, employees and suppliers to ensure we not only have the best-in-class equipment but the best-in-class installation and maintenance of these systems,” Chasserot said.

Another 2024 label criterion centers around per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as trifluoroacetic acid (TFA).

Recent research found significant levels of TFA – linked to the atmospheric breakdown of certain HFO and HFC refrigerants – in dust, drinking water and human blood in a study of households in Indiana (U.S.). The study characterized TFA as being part of the PFAS chemical family.

“The 2024 label criteria around PFAS acknowledges what companies are doing to ensure they are PFAS-free,” Chasserot said.

“ATMO Approved companies have the vision and leadership required to navigate the market today and help [companies] move away from PFAS and global-warming synthetic alternatives,” an ATMOsphere YouTube video says.

Additional new benefits added to the 2024 ATMO label include:

  • an annual report for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investors;
  • end-user tours at major trade shows to meet approved companies;
  • exclusive webinar targeting end users, consultants and contractors; and
  • end-user case studies, showcasing best practices.

ATMOsphere has been active in the natural refrigerant space for nearly 20 years. During this time, the company has:

  • published dozens of natural refrigerant-related market reports on market players, technologies and solutions worldwide across multiple applications;
  • hosted over 60 international natural refrigerant conferences, bringing together thousands of experts and hundreds of speakers over nearly 15 years, covering all the latest trends and players;
  • written thousands of articles reporting on natural refrigerant companies and products in the industry; and
  • sent representatives to hundreds of trade shows around the world, meeting with natural refrigerant experts face-to-face (in addition to countless individual meetings outside official events).

“We feel that, as an independent player with a global mindset and a global presence across all natural refrigerants and multiple applications, we are very well suited to provide this level of approval for the label,” explained Chasserot.

“Zero-C’s team is thrilled to become part of the ATMOsphere movement that pursues our collective objective to drive forward the transition to natural refrigerants with unwavering dedication.”

David Bastrash, General Manager of Zero-C