HPAC Magazine

ASHRAE and UNEP Join Forces

November 1, 2012 | By Adam Dras

Promoting sustainable refrigeration in facilities and systems.

ASHRAE and the United Nations Environment Programme recently announced a collaborative effort to develop and publish a new Guide for Sustainable Refrigerated Facilities and Systems. This $400000 project is 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.  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 this means a freeze in HCFC consumption and production by January 1, 2013, followed by a 10 per cent reduction in 2015 and 97.5 per cent 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.  

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. ” <>

The Players

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a building technology society with more than 50,000 members worldwide. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry. UNEP is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.


The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on Sept. 16, 1987, and entered into force on Jan. 1, 1989. Since then, it has undergone five amendments, in 1990 (London), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal) and 1999 (Beijing). Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international cooperation “Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date…”

The Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol is managed by an executive committee, which is responsible for overseeing the operation of the Fund. The 2012 Committee membership includes Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, Cuba, Finland, India, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Mali, Romania, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America. UNEP is one of four Implementing Agencies of the Fund, along with UNDP, UNIDO and the World Bank.



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