A new United Nations (UN)-backed report, “Cooling Suppliers: Who is Winning the Race to Zero?“, concludes that major players in the cooling industry are too slow to join the race to net-zero, with only five of the 54 suppliers assessed having set net-zero goals.

The report claims that there is “a disconnect between companies that are actively enabling the decarbonisation of the sector through the development of natural refrigerants, and their climate commitments,” and calls on the major cooling players to “raise their climate ambitions.”

The report, including an action table, can be downloaded here.

The five companies passing the report’s assessment are Schneider Electric (owner of the Eliwell brand), Electrolux, Danfoss, Johnson Controls and Orbia Advanced Corporation. Schneider Electric was recently named most sustainable company in the world by Corporate Knight.

The report was published on March 29 and is supported by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (KCEP), the Carbon Trust, the Cool Coalition, Oxford University, the Race to Zero campaign, and the high-level champions appointed by COP21 in Paris. 

The cooling companies have been assessed against three key impact areas, as defined by the Cooling Climate Action Pathway. The areas are:

  1. Making super-efficient cooling equipment powered by zero-carbon energy the norm;
  2. The use of ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants; and  
  3. Widespread adoption of passive cooling measures that avoid or reduce the need for mechanical cooling.

The report includes both natural refrigerants and f-gases in its definition of ultra-low GWP refrigerants, meaning the companies do not have to use natural refrigerants to achieve a “pass” grade in the assessment.

To help more companies join the race to net zero, the partners of the Cool Coalition are releasing a number of products, including a Cool Calculator, to help guide them forward. The Cool Calculator is a scenario-planning tool, which “enables cooling industry stakeholders to explore how to get to zero on cooling.”

“Efforts to race to net zero cooling present an incredible opportunity to meet ambitious climate, environment and development goals and unlock the clean energy transition,” said David Aitken, Director of Innovation at the Carbon Trust. “These tools show how we can get there.”

Product guide to net-zero

With the cooling sector’s role in combatting the climate crisis under increased scrutiny, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has recently launched a net-zero cooling product guide allowing companies, governments and consumers to cut their cooling footprint by choosing products that are energy-efficient and use natural refrigerants.

“Efforts to race to net-zero cooling present an incredible opportunity to meet ambitious climate, environment and development goals and unlock the clean energy transition.”

David Aitken, Carbon Trust

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