CANCUN, Mexico - The Consumer Goods Forum, which includes over 400 global consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, announced that it has agreed to begin phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigeration equipment as of 2015. Member companies include Coca-Cola, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg, Kraft, Kroger, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Sara Lee, S.C. Johnson, and Walmart.

According to the Consumer Goods Forum, refrigeration plays a vital role in the retail and consumer goods industry, delivering high-quality products to consumers every day, but is also a significant and growing source of greenhouse gases. HFCs are powerful greenhouse gases that are thousands of times as potent as carbon dioxide, stated the organization. While these refrigerants currently have a relatively small aggregate impact on global warming, HFC emissions are projected to represent 9-19 percent of estimated greenhouse gas emissions in 2050.

The Consumer Goods Forum said that some of its companies already have established time-bound programs to cease the purchase of HFCs. Others are beginning to take action to phase out HFC refrigerants as of 2015 and replace them with natural refrigerants, where these are permitted based on country-level regulations.

Muhtar Kent of Coca-Cola and Lars Olofsson of Carrefour noted, “This is the first time that the entire sector has aligned around the importance of taking action to accelerate the move to climate-friendly refrigeration. The technologies exist today for our sector to significantly reduce the direct and indirect emissions of the refrigeration equipment we use. This initiative by the Consumer Goods Forum demonstrates our commitment to action.”

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Publication date:12/06/2010