Coca-Cola took a big step towards reducing their carbon footprint last week, with their commitment to use climate-friendly coolers and vending machines in all official venues of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. HFCs(hydrofluorocarbons), commonly used in refrigeration, cause global warming, with some HFC gases being up to 11,000 times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide (CO2). Greenpeace first showcased climate-friendly ‘Greenfreeze’ technology in 1992; today there are over 100 million Greenfreeze refrigerators worldwide.
September 17, 2007, Greenpeace applauds Coca-Cola’s commitment to use climate-friendly coolers and vending machines in all official venues of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. This is LO Sze Ping, Campaign and Communication Director, Greenpeace China, speaking at the press conference.
While Greenfreeze technology has gained a foothold in the domestic market, large commercial users continued to use refrigeration that causes global warming. Greenpeace has campaigned tirelessly for large commercial users of refrigeration to also make the switch to Greenfreeze. Coca-Cola responded most quickly to the challenge for the Sydney 2000 Olympics and started to work together with us to develop and commercialise climate-friendly refrigeration equipment, leveraging the respective strengths of a non-governmental organisation and a multinational company. Coca-Cola provided HFC-free refrigeration units at both the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will mark the first time Coca-Cola has committed to providing 100% HFC-free insulation and refrigerants together with the energy-saving EMS technology, which improves energy-efficiency by up to 35%, for their coolers and vending machines at all official venues of an Olympic Games.
Based on an expected ten-year life span of the units, the 6,350 climate-friendly refrigeration units to be placed by Coca-Cola in the venues will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 45,000 metric tons - comparable to taking about 218,000 cars off the road for two weeks during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Greenpeace has been campaigning for the phase-out of HFC air-conditioners and refrigerators since the early 1990s. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, HFCs are potent greenhouse gases and some HFCs are 11,700 times more harmful than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. And furthermore, according to German scientific institute Oko-Recherche, by 2050, HFCs and other fluorinated gases are expected to contribute 8.6% of the world's global warming emissions, equivalent to the CO2 emissions of all the world's passenger cars in 2004 (both figures use a 20-year time-horizon.). Through extensive research and development, CO2 and hydrocarbons have been identified as climate-friendly natural refrigerants.
"This innovative approach of combining natural refrigerants and energy-efficient technology is a great example of how a business can work with other stakeholders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We hope Coca-Cola's efforts can accelerate industry-wide actions to combat climate change," said Lo Sze Ping, Campaign and Communications Director of Greenpeace China.
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