Companies such as Kroger, Target, Pepsi, and Coca-cola have joined the Obama administration's initiative on reducing harmful HFCs.
The Obama administration’s push to decrease harmful coolants has been joined by a number of major U.S. companies including Pepsi, DuPont, Coca-Cola, Target, and Kroger.
The move is timely considering the U.N. summit in New York City next week, which will address global warming caused by coolants containing damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are gases used by refrigeration and air conditioning systems as well as automobiles.
The effects of HFCs on the environment are well-documented. They account for a small amount of greenhouse gases, but are highly potent- about 10,000 times as strong as carbon dioxide. If emergency actions are not implemented, HFC levels could double by 2020 and possibly even triple in 2030.
A total of 19 companies and two major industry groups that are responsible for most HFC emissions agreed to reduce their levels. Additionally, the administration will attempt to reduce HFC usage in all federal buildings and provide funding for alternative energy that is less harmful to the ozone.
The White House announced this statement on International Ozone Day, a holiday dedicated to historic Montreal Protocol. The protocol was ratified in 1994 by 196 countries to decrease harmful greenhouse gases that deplete the ozone layer.
The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute has pledged $5 billion in research funding over the next decade to develop HFC-free refrigeration solutions that are less harmful towards the environment.
Numerous companies have pledged to make significant changes. Pepsi has pledged to start buying only HFC-free vending machines by 2020; Coca-cola has set similar goals and has purchased 20,000 HFC-free vending units this year alone. Red Bull has followed suit by ordering a total of 32,000 of these units for the 2015 fiscal year. Target has pledged to open additional HFC-free stores that use ammonia as a coolant method instead of harmful HFCs.