Greenpeace Executive Director Thilo Bode today wrote to officially congratulate Coca-Cola's CEO Douglas Daft in Atlanta for the company's bold new refrigeration policy to reduce its impact on global climate change before the world’s first Green Olympic Games in Sydney later this year.
Bode's letter states that "Coca-Cola's new refrigeration policy
could be perhaps one of the most important legacies of Sydney's
Green Olympic Games" and "I commend your taking a decisive
leadership role on this issue."
Greenpeace Olympics campaigner Blair Palese said, "Greenpeace
has been campaigning in its offices around the world to change
Coca-Cola's polluting HFCs." "If Coca-Cola can make this change, so
too can the other Olympic sponsors such as McDonald's."
On Wednesday, Coca-Cola announced that it would phase out the
use of the potent greenhouse gas hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) (1) in
refrigeration by the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. It will expand
its research into refrigeration alternatives and insist that
suppliers announce specific time schedules to use only HFC-free
refrigeration in all new cold drink equipment by 2004.
In May, Greenpeace launched a worldwide campaign to expose
Coca-Cola's use of polluting HFCs. The organisation called on the
company, as a sponsor to what is likely to be the world's first
Green Olympics in Sydney (2), to phase out HFCs and move to safer,
more environmental alternatives (3). Greenpeace demanded the
company commit to 100 percent environmentally friendly Greenfreeze
technology at the Sydney Olympics, phase out HFCs and specify all
new equipment to be Greenfreeze technolgy.
Greenpeace hopes to continue working with the company to
overcome any hurdles in delivering its new policy and to work with
other companies, both Olympic sponsors such as MacDonald's, and
others, to follow Coca-Cola's lead and phase out the use of
Notes: (1) HFCs are chemicals invented as a substitute for CFCs and HCFCs - ozone-destroying gases that are being phased out worldwide. HFCs are mainly used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industries. On average, over 20 years one ton of HFC has 3,300 times more global warming potential than one ton of carbon dioxide.
In 1997, the United Nations Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change was extended to include HFCs, identifying them as potent greenhouse gases whose emissions must be reduced by industrialised countries.
(2) The Environmental Guidelines for the Sydney Olympic Games call for the use of HFC-free refrigerants and processes.
(3) Greenfreeze uses a mixture of hydrocarbon gases propane (R290) and isobutane (R60Oa), or isobutane as a pure gas, for the refrigerant, and cyclopentane for blowing the insulation foam. Since 1992, Greenfreeze has become the dominant technology in Western Europe, having taken over nearly 100 percent of the German refrigeration market.