MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - Mike Burns, chair of the Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) recently announced the launch of Responsible Equipment Management (REM), an industry awareness and responsibility program concerning decommissioned HVACR equipment. REM is aimed at raising the awareness of industry members, equipment owners, and the public about the appropriate environmental practices to be used by contractors when replacing and/or decommissioning HVACR equipment in the field.

"This program reinforces the current practices being used by the large majority of contractors in our industry," said Burns. "Environmental responsibility and leadership continue to be key objectives of HRAI and the Canadian industry." HRAI conducted a comprehensive survey of its Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors (HRAC) contractor members in 2003 which confirmed that more than 90 percent of decommissioned HVACR products and equipment were taken to recycling facilities, scrap dealers, or retained for reuse.

The association began examining the extended producer responsibility (EPR) practices of the industry's products in 2002 in response to the growing concerns of municipal and provincial governments about the volume of household product waste that is entering the public waste stream, e.g., landfills. Following completion of the 2003 industry survey, the HRAI board of directors developed voluntary industry guidelines that essentially contain the current practices in the industry. These "good practices" are the foundation for the REM program.

The REM guidelines awareness program will include industry brochures and Web pages on the HRAI Website dedicated to the REM program. A key step in the program will be to have contractor company owners and managers meet with their mechanics and technicians and reinforce the need to consistently apply these current industry practices on a day-by-day basis.

Other important steps will include ongoing evaluation of the industry's adherence to the principles and a process for acquiring contractor acknowledgement of the use of these principles within their companies.

The REM program builds on the environmental EPR program Refrigerant Management Canada (RMC) introduced by HRAI and the Canadian industry in 2001. RMC has recovered more than 782 metric tons of surplus refrigerants and destroyed over 699 metric tons.

"HRAI has established itself as a leader in environmental responsibility committed to protecting Canada's future," noted Burns.

For more information or copies of the REM brochure, contact April Gucciardo at 905-602-4700 ext. 239, or e-mail agucciardo@hrai.ca.

Publication date: 07/17/2006