The Green Cooling Initiative (GCI), a global initiative that focuses on the promotion of sustainable cooling globally, is seeking new manufacturer members for its Green Cooling Network, an alliance of key players in RAC (refrigeration and air-conditioning) sector.

GCI is run by GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH),a service provider of the German government that supports sustainable development in more than 100 countries around the world. GCI is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). It is part of GIZ Proklima, an umbrella of projects funded by the German government, the EU, the French government and other donors in support of green cooling worldwide since 1995.

“GCI supports the adoption of RAC and heat pump technology that uses natural refrigerants, high energy efficiency and renewables if possible,” said Philipp Denzinger, Project Manager of the GCI. 

Operating under the auspices of GCI, the Green Cooling Network is designed to “bring together industry and governments” in an effort to “promote green cooling globally,” via public-private partnerships, explained Denzinger. 

Members of the Green Cooling Network, which is free of charge and easy to join, include manufacturers, government institutions, NGOs, and training and research organizations. It is open to any manufacturer that markets natural refrigerant-related products (not necessarily exclusively). Among its current manufacturer members are Bitzer, Baltimore Aircoil, Carel, Epta, Frigo Consulting, Guntner, Johnson Controls, LU-VE, Secon, Triple Aqua and True Manufacturing.

The Green Cooling Network offers manufacturers of natural refrigerant products opportunities to implement them in the Global South where such technologies are in short supply, noted Denzinger. “We are aiming to establish supply chains between technology providers and the Global South.”

Denzinger described the Network’s role in aligning manufacturers with green cooling projects as “matchmaking,” helping manufacturers that “want to expand their markets globally or want to pilot something or establish supply chains to the Global South.”

He is currently working on bringing the first CO2 (R744) systems and probably also hydrocarbon (R290) equipment to supermarkets in Kenya as well as supporting and equipping training centers accordingly; two GIZ network members from Europe are involved.  “There are CO2 systems in South Africa but there are another 53 countries in Africa where there is no CO2 or hydrocarbon system in supermarkets,” he said. “But there’s demand, supermarkets want to become green and it’s technically feasible, so we want to do the matchmaking. All countries globally need to implement the Kigali Agreement and in 10 or 20 years, they will all need to be green. In order to protect our livelihoods, the sooner the transition takes place, the better.”

Well connected

GCI can support members of its Network via relationships with national ozone units, and climate change, energy, trade or industry departments, as well as liaisons within the local private sector, standards groups, academia and training institutions. “We are very connected in many countries,” noted Denzinger. The GIZ Proklima group has trained over 600,000 technicians over the past 25 years in more than 60 countries, including thousands of trainers, on green cooling technologies, he added.

GCI can try to provide support in accessing funding to defray the incremental cost of projects from a range of sources, including the Montreal Protocol, the International Climate Initiative, the EU, and carbon financing, he noted. 

Manufacturers may be willing to contribute to a project “so they have a showcase they can present at the international level such as the Montreal Protocol,” he said. Moreover, GCI monitors energy consumption of systems, and “if the efficiency is better it can be paid off after two years.”

Within individual countries, GCI develops GHG inventories, calculates mitigation potential, and “comes up with national cooling action plans, roadmaps and strategies,” said Denzinger. “We figure out how to integrate green cooling into climate policy and energy policy in those countries and globally.”

On a regional basis, GCI has networks in Africa, Asia and Latin America where it has meetings, offers training and pursues standards like MEPS (minimum energy performance standards). “We try to assist from various angles,” he said. “We drive innovation.”

In addition to featuring its projects on its website , GCI promotes them in a newsletter published every three months. Stakeholders can subscribe here. On the website there are also many relevant publications for download and GCI also presents best practices in green cooling at Montreal Protocol meetings and does regular webinars.

“We are aiming to establish supply chains between technology providers and the Global South.”

Philipp Denzinger, Project Manager of the Green Cooling Initiative