We continually raise the bar on the level of acceptance on the chemicals used in our products, sharing best practice around the world and anticipating legal restrictions.
We’re taking action to replace high-impact greenhouse gases (hydro fluorocarbons or HFCs) with lower impact alternatives. With rising sales of air conditioners, it is especially important to ensure the prompt replacement of high-impact greenhouse gases, which make this ambitious goal crucial to our sustainability agenda.
At Electrolux Australia, as well as in countries in Asia, the phase-out of HFCs in refrigerators was completed ahead of legislation, and we are in the process of doing the same in other markets, such as China and Brazil. A large manufacturing site in the US has already replaced the HFC blowing agent with cyclopentane, anticipating legal requirements. Other North American operations will follow suit by 2020.
In 2005, gases with a high global warming potential accounted for 14% of the total CO2 emissions. The goal, as part of our climate targets, is their complete elimination. Some ozone-depleting refrigerants are still used in small amounts in air conditioners and work is ongoing to phase out these substances.
The challenges and barriers
- Driving the phase out of chemicals where it is not supported by regulation.
- Substituting HFCs in air conditioners, where there are no common industry solutions available and where suppliers play an important role.
- Replacement of HFCs as a refrigerant in the US, where safety regulation limits the use of alternatives.
Replacing HFCs needs to be driven industry-wide, because solutions are dependent on legislation that enables viable alternatives.