Harvard University recognizes Refrigerants, Naturally! with prestigious award
Roy Family Award 2011 celebrates power of collaboration in tackling climate change
Nairobi, 18 May 2011 - A public-private partnership conceived and supported by UNEP's OzonAction team has received the prestigious Roy Family Award given by Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Reviewers praised Refrigerants, Naturally!' s impact on an important and often overlooked problem – persistent fluorinated gases (so called F-gases such as CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs) in the atmosphere – and held it up as a pragmatic and effective example of corporations and environmental organizations working together to reduce severe threats to the global environment.
Refrigerants, Naturally! brings together four high-profile private companies – The Coca-Cola Company, McDonald's, Unilever, and PepsiCo – which are committed to combat climate change and ozone layer depletion by eliminating F-gases and substituting them with natural refrigerants (e.g. ammonia, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons). Greenpeace and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) have been supporters of this partnership from the beginning, by providing advice, information and linkages to their own activities.
F-gases are highly potent greenhouse gases that are used in most refrigeration and cooling technologies. Recent scientific studies indicate their increasing piece of the global warming pie – up to 9% – 19% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Refrigerants, Naturally! aims to skip over their deployment in developing countries as the next billion people get their refrigeration and cooling. This will prove to be a major wedge in preventing further global warming.
"The 2011 Roy Family Award from John F. Kennedy School of Harvard University shatters the
myth that investing in the environment comes at the expense of economic growth", said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. "UNEP is proud
to be associated with Refrigerants, Naturally! right from its inception to
demonstrate how small investment through supply chain management can foster ozone and
climate-friendly technologies and proactively enhance energy efficiency. I congratulate all
partners for accepting the challenge of demonstrating this practical approach towards the Green Economy," added Mr. Steiner.
"Refrigerants, Naturally! demonstrates that meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are possible if business and NGOs are creative and are prepared to work together", said Henry Lee, director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, in announcing the 2011 award winner.
Since 2004, Refrigerants, Naturally! has focused its efforts on overcoming barriers to the use of natural refrigerants including worldwide availability, maintenance, technical challenges and regulation. The companies have come a long way. They actively promote a shift in point-of-sale cooling technology toward safe, reliable, energy-efficient and cost-effective natural refrigerants with low or zero global warming potential and zero ozone depleting potential.
The initiative also provides a platform and a critical mass in communicating with the refrigeration technology supply chain, with other large companies using similar refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, governments and civil society.
Refrigerants, Naturally! is taking action to combat global warming and climate change by replacing F-gases in refrigeration equipment with climate-friendly natural refrigerants and is successfully promoting the technology amongst other companies around the world.
"Refrigerants, Naturally! has played an important role in raising the profile of this important issue and demonstrating what can be achieved through shared vision and commitment", said Thomas Lingard, Global External Affairs Director Unilever and Chair of Refrigerants, Naturally! .
In 2010, Refrigerants, Naturally!' has achieved one of its primary goals. The group's leadership catalyzed the entire retailing and consumer goods sector to commit to change its cooling technologies starting in 2015. The Consumer Goods Forum, a CEO-led organization of 400 global consumer goods manufacturers and retailers with US$3 trillion of revenue, pledged to begin phasing out HFC refrigerants as of 2015 and replace them with natural refrigerants (See:http://www.ciesnet.com/pfiles/press_release/Press_Release_2010/2010-11-29-ClimateProtection.pdf).
"Refrigerants, Naturally! strives to eliminate an entire class of dangerous greenhouses gases from a large industrial sector. As the group has now catalyzed a commitment to eliminate HFCs from the Consumer Goods Forum's 400 companies, we have a real shot at the kind of fundamental transformation we need. For this reason, Greenpeace is honored to be working with these corporations on this issue", said Amy Larkin, Director Greenpeace Solutions.
"Public-Private Partnerships such as Refrigerants, Naturally! are vital tools for implementing Agenda 21. UNEP is proud to continue helping inspire and guide this partnership of responsible private sector companies, which is contributing in a tangible way to achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goal of environmental sustainability", said Rajendra Shende, head of UNEP`s Ozone Action branch.