Customers look to Carrier to develop sustainable solutions for refrigerants, especially given climate change considerations. For decades, the industry relied on chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) chemicals as refrigerants due to their energy efficiency, safety and economic benefits. In the 1970s and 1980s, scientists began to observe that CFCs contributed to the depletion of the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer that blocks harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This led to an international accord to phase out ozone-depleting substances. Carrier did not wait for international mandates to move. We introduced the first commercial and residential air conditioning systems using non-ozone-depleting refrigerants in 1994 and have since led the industry away from ozone-depleting substances.
Carrier pioneered the phase-out of CFCs for the air conditioning and refrigeration industry in 1994, two years ahead of U.S. requirements and 16 years before mandates in developing countries.
For this achievement, the U.S. EPA awarded Carrier its “Best of the Best” Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award in 2007.
In 2012, Carrier partnered with EOS Climate, Inc. to ensure responsible end-of-life management of used refrigerants. Typically, refrigerants such as CFCs, are extracted from older equipment, reclaimed and resold, eventually ending up in the atmosphere. The Carrier program ensures these legacy refrigerants and their resulting greenhouse gases are destroyed in compliance with standards established by the Climate Action Reserve and California Air Resources Board.
The program, which is available to all Carrier commercial customers, prevented 111,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in its first two years, the equivalent of:
- The annual greenhouse gas emissions from roughly 23,000 passenger vehicles or more than 41,000 tons of waste sent to the landfill
- The CO2 emissions from 12 million gallons of consumed gasoline; more than 5,000 homes’ energy use for one year; or more than 15,000 homes’ electricity use for one year
- The carbon sequestered by 2.8 million tree seedlings grown for 10 years or more than 90,000 acres of U.S. forests in one year
Today, Carrier continues to help international markets meet new non-ozone-depleting requirements, while focusing on the next chapter of refrigerant evolution to reduce the direct greenhouse gas effect. Many of today’s refrigerants are based on hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) chemicals because they do not deplete the ozone layer, and compared to CFCs, have reduced the greenhouse impact by as much as 80 percent. Nonetheless, HFCs remain a greenhouse gas and Carrier is committed to finding lower global-warming alternatives. We are a leader in providing commercial refrigeration systems for supermarkets using ultra-low global-warming carbon dioxide as a natural refrigerant, which is captured in the air and repurposed for cooling.
Carrier continuously invests in research and development. As we have done before, Carrier is committed to deploying products and technologies that minimize environmental impact while serving customer needs. This is equally true with refrigerants, where Carrier will have the right refrigerant solution for every application, while not every application may have the same refrigerant solution.
In 2011, Carrier debuted the product design for the NaturaLINE™ container refrigeration unit, exactly one year after it announced the development of the world’s first, and only, container refrigeration unit using natural refrigerant CO2.
Carrier’s New Refrigerant Technology Cools Naturally – NaturaLINE™