July 6, 2010

Today, Greenpeace and Ben & Jerry’s launched the first ice cream freezer using climate-friendly technology in the United States. The new freezer eliminates the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a highly potent greenhouse gas that, pound for pound, has 1,400 times the global warming impact of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas.

This climate-safe freezer will keep pints of
Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia as cold as ever, but it’s also
going to help cool our planet,” said John Passacantando, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA. “With
hurricanes intensifying, tropical disease spreading, sea levels
rising, and polar bears going extinct, we need to make sure that
what cools our ice cream, drinks, and homes isn’t also melting the
ice caps.”

HFCs and other fluorinated gases (F-gases) are cumulatively responsible for 17 percent of the global warming pollution currently in the atmosphere. Ironically, the chemical industry introduced HFCs as an “environmental alternative” to ozone-destroying chemicals like Freon even though scientists warned that HFCs would still cause global warming. To solve this problem, Greenpeace engineers developed a new climate-safe refrigeration technology known as “Greenfreeze” in 1992 and gave it away to any company that wanted it. 

Today, Greenfreeze technology is in use in more than 300 million
refrigerators worldwide, but it wasn’t allowed into the United
States until earlier this year when the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency authorized Ben & Jerry’s to run a test trial
of 2,000 Greenfreeze-equipped units.

“It’s one small step for our business, and a giant leap for opening the door to prove that a more environmentally friendly refrigeration technology could work in the U.S. market,” said Walt Freese, Ben & Jerry’s CEO.  “The technology is commonplace in Europe with literally millions of home and commercial units in place,” Freese said.

“HFCs and other F-gases are the worst greenhouse gases you’ve never heard of,” said Greenpeace Solutions Director, Amy Larkin. “Now, it’s up to other companies to follow Ben & Jerry’s lead and make climate-safe refrigeration as standard in the United States as it is elsewhere.”

VVPR info: Jane Kochersperger, Media Officer (202) 319-2493; (202) 680-3798 cell; Kert Davies, Research Director (202) 319-2455.

Notes: Refrigerants Naturally:
Ben & Jerry’s:

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