ASHRAE and the United Nations Environment Programme announced today a collaborative effort to develop and publish a new Guide for Sustainable Refrigerated Facilities and Systems. This $400,000 project is being jointly funded by ASHRAE and the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and is scheduled to be completed in early 2014.
The Guide will address the entire range of facility and equipment design and efficiency alternatives for refrigerated processing, storage and distribution (the cold chain) in both developed and developing countries. As global urbanization continues, refrigerated storage and transport from farm to store is critical. Food spoilage is a significant sustainability problem particularly in least developed countries. Medicine storage and transportation is likewise critical.
The Guide is also important as Parties to the Montreal Protocol face upcoming compliance deadlines. For developing countries, that means a freeze in HCFC consumption and production by Jan. 1, 2013, followed by a 10 percent reduction in 2015 and 97.5 percent reduction by 2030. Currently, HCFC-22 is the preferred refrigerant for many facilities and systems, particularly for small-medium sized enterprises, but this ozone depleting gas is being phased out under the Montreal Protocol. The Guide’s goal is to support the selection of alternatives while maintaining or improving energy efficiency across the entire cold chain and reducing the environmental footprint. That, in turn, supports countries’ compliance with this international treaty and improves global sustainability.
“This is the largest collaborative project ASHRAE has undertaken with UNEP and truly represents our global leadership approach to solving society’s issues,” Ron Jarnagin, ASHRAE president, said. “We, with our partner associations, look forward to working with UNEP on this extremely important refrigeration guide.”
James Curlin, interim head of UNEP’s OzonAction Branch notes: “The protection of the stratospheric ozone layer under the Montreal Protocol has a long track record of meeting specific and measurable sustainable development objectives, including contributing to Millennium Development Goal 7, ‘Ensuring Environmental Sustainability.’ This guide will help impart such sustainability considerations to the owners and operators of refrigerated systems and facilities in developing countries, and help them make informed decisions about refrigerants, equipment and energy efficiency considerations. We look forward to working with ASHRAE to deliver this strategic technical guide.”