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Coca-Cola CEO calls for global use of CO2

05 June 2008

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The beverage giant will install 100,000 R744 bottle coolers by the end of 2010. This was confirmed by CEO Neville Isdell, who called on the whole refrigeration industry to support CO2 as the future global refrigerant.
“CO2 works. It's more efficient, and importantly, it is safe. It is the future, and now we are taking steps to making it a reality,” Neville Isdell, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) told a panel of industry and government leaders on 27 May. Speaking at a Greenpeace Business Lecture Series in China, he confirmed that all beverage coolers TCCC will install at the Beijing Olympics this summer will use CO2. More importantly, he announced that the beverage company will purchase and deploy 100,000 CO2 coolers by the end of 2010. This would be the largest use of this new technology by a single company so far.

Call for Action: Global Industry Commitment to CO2 needed

A global collective effort from all players in the commercial refrigeration industry is urgently needed to drive the market for CO2 Technology and lower costs rapidly. Therefore, Isdell issued a “Call for Action” to join TCCC in its investment in R744 systems, helping to accelerate the serial production of energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling equipment. Neither the consumers’ demand nor government intervention would be fast enough to drive the necessary industry change away from HFCs towards R744, Isdell argues: “We cannot wait for consumers or governments or technology or price to move us towards sustainable solutions. Instead, we must use another lever to make progress -- collective choice.”

A clear commitment would be of special importance to activate suppliers for which climate-friendly CO2 refrigeration would represent a huge business opportunity: “Once we send a clear signal to our suppliers that we are moving in that direction, they will have the certainty that they need to invest in new production facilities, to meet the demand that we are creating. (…) Today, too few people are buying this equipment, but it is the equipment of the future, and the suppliers who invest today will have the advantage tomorrow,“ Isdell was sure. He especially called on Chinese manufacturers to embrace R744 Technology as an effective way to create added value, earn a competitive advantage, and be recognized as a world leader in climate solutions.

No need for HFCs

Given that cold drink equipment accounts for the largest single share of greenhouse gas emissions at TCCC, a sustainable refrigeration program would be the cornerstone of the company’s climate protection efforts, Isdell said. The rapid replacement of HFCs by sustainable CO2 refrigeration would therefore be a key priority: “The world does not need HFCs. We could all switch to alternative technologies based on natural gases, and we can have a significant positive impact on climate protection.” If just the commercial refrigeration industry moved to climate-friendly alternatives by 2050, the emissions in that year alone could be reduced by 1.2 billion metric tonnes – about the same as the total annual emissions of Germany or Japan.

Background

The Coca-Cola Company owns more than 10 million coolers and vending machines. In 2000, the company pledged to improve energy efficiency by 40-50% by 2010. The use of CO2 in new vending machines and a future replacement of old cooling equipment represents an integral part of its energy conservation and climate protection programme. To spur the use of natural refrigerants, TCCC joined “Refrigerants, Naturally!” – a joint initiative of Mc Donalds, Ikea, Pepsico, Carlsberg and Unilever – which will sponsor this year’s Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants in September.



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