General Refrigeration, an Athens-based industrial and commercial refrigeration contractor, has received the ATMO Approved Natural Refrigerants Label from ATMOsphere, a global market accelerator of clean cooling and heating solutions and publisher of R744.com.

General Refrigeration is the second contractor, following SURE Solutions, to receive the label.

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. Recipients in 2023 include Fenagy, SCM Frigo, Güntner, Secon, M&M Carnot, Zudek, TEKO, MIRAI Intex, Novum and Temprite. This month, hydrocarbon gas manufacturer GTS received the label.

In November, 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.

“Excited to announce that General Refrigeration has received the prestigious ATMO Approved Label, acknowledging our unwavering dedication to sustainability in the HVAC&R sector,” said Dimitrios Dalavouras, Technical Manager, General Refrigeration.

“With roots in Greece, we are committed to guiding the HVAC&R industry toward eco-friendly solutions,” Dalavouras added. “Our embrace of natural refrigerants reflects our vision, positioning General Refrigeration as a forefront supporter of environmentally conscious practices in the field. This accolade underscores our commitment to a greener future in refrigeration, reinforcing our belief that natural refrigerants pave the way for a more sustainable HVAC&R sector.”

Founded in 1972, General Refrigeration provides consulting and construction for industrial and commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning. Their services include:

  • Refrigeration installations for supermarkets and minimarkets
  • Cold room construction and refrigeration installation
  • Commissioning
  • Automation, monitoring and remote control of refrigeration installations
  • Energy saving retrofit solutions
  • Maintenance services for refrigeration installations
  • Building certification in accordance with international standards BREEAM and PASSIVE HOUSE
  • Thermography

General Refrigeration stocks natural refrigeration fluids (CO2/R744, ammonia/R717, propane/R290 and isobutane/R600a), electrical instruments, hand tools, loggers and other equipment. They support clients with immediate delivery of spare parts and technical advice. It has developed quality procedures according to the ISO standard 9001:2008 and implements the refrigerant control regulations 517/2014 and 303/2008.

Marc Chasserot, ATMOsphere’s Founder and Owner, noted that contractors “play a vital role in the acceleration of natural refrigerant-based solutions. We want to recognize them as they are often the middleman between the end users and the manufacturers.”

The current label application period closes on January 31, 2024; it is renewed annually. Registration for the 2024 label can be found here, along with additional information.

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

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 Chasserot.

“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.”

Three pillars

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

1) company vision;

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

3) measurable impact.

Ioannis Aggelakis, Owner of ClimaPlus, a Greek distributor who resold a transcritical CO2 industrial system from General Refrigeration to an end user, spoke highly of General Refrigeration.

“The CO2 refrigeration system has consistently exceeded the promised efficiencies, delivering outstanding performance,” he said. “Not only it has met our expectations, but it has also led to noticeable cost savings and operational improvements, making it a highly reliable and efficient solution for our needs.”

“We were extremely satisfied with the service provided by the General Refrigeration,” added Aggelakis. “They not only delivered on their promises but also went above and beyond to ensure our needs were met promptly and efficiently. Their commitment to customer satisfaction has been exemplary.”

Moreover, he said, “having worked with this supplier for many years, our confidence in their expertise, commitment to excellence and seamless transition to new units with natural refrigerants make them our trusted partner for the long term.”

New criteria

The 2024 label will also include 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.

“This accolade underscores our commitment to a greener future in refrigeration, reinforcing our belief that natural refrigerants pave the way for a more sustainable HVAC&R sector.”

Dimitrios Dalavouras, Technical Manager, General Refrigeration