The “New Era of Sustainable Retail” event was organized by Epta and shecco.
Fionnuala Walravens from EIA speaking at the EuroShop networking event.
Italian OEM Epta and shecco’s ATMOsphere Network held a joint networking event at EuroShop, focusing on natural refrigerants and their role in sustainable retail.
The event took place on February 18 at Epta’s EuroShop booth at Messe Düsseldorf in Germany, and was supported by the EU funded Life-C4R project.
Keynote speaker Fionnuala Walravens, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)’s Senior Campaigner, entertained the audience of HVAC&R industry professionals with a lighthearted story about how natural refrigerants had helped save her marriage during a holiday in southern France (at a cottage without air conditioning), before moving on to the more serious topic of natural refrigerants and their role in combating the climate crisis.
Walravens told the audience how the climate crisis will affect both companies and all of us individually, and how natural refrigerants can help us achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F), by potentially shaving off up to 0.4°C (0.7°F) of the expected temperature increase. “The metric that we use to measure the impact of HFC’s greatly underplays their true contribution to climate change,” she said.
Walravens described how, with the current worldwide carbon reduction commitments, we are on track for a 3.2°C (5.7°F) temperature increase. If we are to live up to the goals of the Paris Agreement, we need to commit to a further 7.6% reduction of our CO2e emissions, and that is where natural refrigerants come into the picture, she said.
Walravens also detailed how the next COP, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November will be crucial, as all the parties will have to present new or improved plans for how they will achieve the Paris goals.
Francesco Mastrapasqua, Advocacy & Regulatory Affairs Manager for Epta, spoke about the Life-C4R project, funded by the European Union and coordinated by Epta. The project aims to prove that it is possible to completely replace HFCs with CO2-based refrigerants in any climatic or market conditions, and builds on Epta’s patented Full Transcritical Efficiency (FTE) system.
Rounding off the afternoon, before the drinks and networking reception, was Fortunato Della Guerra, Technical Director at Inres-Coop, who talked about transcritical CO2 refrigeration from the view of a retailer, all the way from system design to maintenance of the finished installation, and Mike Baker managing director, AJ Baker, talking about the company’s 100-year history.