1 million natural refrigerant coolers by Coca-Cola and counting

By Alexandra Maratou, Jan 23, 2014, 10:42 2 minute reading

The Coca-Cola Company placed approximately 230,000 HFC-free cold-drink equipment in 2013, bringing its global total natural refrigerant equipment fleet to 1 million units and marking significant progress in the company’s effort to phase out hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants.

The company announced on 22 January 2013 that it has installed its 1 millionth HFC-free cooler using natural refrigerant in the marketplace, preventing the emission of 5.25 million metric tons of CO2 over 10 years.

“Through investment in research, development and commercialization efforts we’ve advanced the use of more energy-efficient, HFC-free cooling technologies and energy management systems”, said Jeff Seabright, Vice President, Environment & Water, The Coca-Cola Company. We’ve made sustainable refrigeration the cornerstone of our climate protection and energy management efforts.”

Towards the 2015 challenge of phasing out HFCs in all new equipment

The milestone comes one year before 2015 kicks in, the year by when the company has committed to phasing out HFC refrigerants from all new dispensers, vending machines and coolers. Achieving this goal is set to prevent the emission of more than 50 million metric tons of CO2 over 10 years, an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 10 million passenger vehicles.

As part of its commitment to pursue sustainable refrigeration, Coca-Cola selected CO2 as its refrigerant of choice for new equipment. The company’s investment in more sustainable refrigeration has made CO2 technology a commercially viable option for the cold drink and food equipment industry.

Achieving the 2015 goal, however, will be a challenging endeavour that will require significant upping of efforts: The number of HFC-free units placed on the market by the company in 2013 remained at similar levels to those placed in 2012 (245,000 HFC-free units). According the company’s 2012/2013 sustainability report, this figure represented 21% of the total 2012 cold-drink equipment purchases. “Our efforts to deploy more HFC-free cooling systems in 2012 fell short of our ambition” reads the report. “Difficulties in procuring HFC-free equipment in Brazil, India and other countries contributed to the slowdown in our progress. We are developing strategies to address these challenges and get back on track for our 2015 goal.”

About Coca-Cola’s HFC phase out commitment

In 2009, Coca-Cola set a goal that 100% of its new coolers and vending machines will be HFC-free by 2015 with support from Greenpeace. The company also played an active role in setting the Consumer Goods Forum goal to begin phasing-out HFC refrigerants in cooling equipment across its 400-member companies starting in 2015.

Most recent the company set the goal to reduce the carbon footprint of "the drink in your hand” by 25 percent by 2020. 


By Alexandra Maratou

Jan 23, 2014, 10:42

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