What is Emissions Success if You Don’t Know What’s Expected of You?

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What is Emissions Success if You Don’t Know What’s Expected of You?

We interrupt this blog for a brief thank you. 

Service providers, technicians, contractors, all of you are the front line soldiers on the emissions success issue. You are incredibly important and valued. Fixing the refrigerant leaks, spending late nights retrofitting equipment, reclaiming/destroying instead of venting no matter how small an amount. Thank you for everything you do. You matter and things can change. There is hope!

 Want to be better? Want to learn how to become the good guy? Read on…

We now bring you back to your regularly scheduled reading.


A long time ago in a political climate far far away, we thought we’d solved the emissions issue. Gas was 89 cents, the very first Final Fantasy game was released, “tear down this wall” was sprawled across every news outlet, the Montreal Protocol was signed and life was good! 


Or so we thought. Here it is 30 years later and not much has changed… or has it? 🤔

Believe it or not they’re actually better! This issue wasn’t politicized with support on both sides of the aisle, and all kinds of private environmental sustainability initiatives have stepped up to guide us. Look at the ISO environmental standards, the GreenChill initiative between grocers and the EPA, extreme building energy efficiency with LEED and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Big name profitable companies are voluntarily following these! There is also more pressure for companies to have corporate sustainability initiatives that decrease their environmental footprint. They are also expected to take part in ESG reporting, including disclosing information about refrigerant tracking.


Hiding your environmental failures on the balance sheet is no longer an option




What is PEG?

(private environmental governance) – alleviates the government and taxpayers of the immediate burden of coming up with initiatives for these projects


You need a personalized approach with recognition for achievements no matter how small. PEG allows you to make your own rules without having to wait for the government to do anything! 

“Surely this will complicate everything we already do, right?” you ask. Well fear not! It doesn’t:

✔ PEG initiatives address many of the same issues as public environmental laws
✔ deploy many of the same regulatory tools including disclosure, prescription and market leveraging
designed to compliment, compete with or simply fill in governmental gaps

Big profitable companies set great examples of what can be done, but there still isn’t enough technicians to do it. They give us a foundation/framework to create policy, but it’s not without voices like Michael Vandenbergh speaking up. He is a leading legal scholar in environmental and energy law focused on the relationship between legal regulation and social regulation of individual/corporate behavior. We recently participated in a paper with him and the Vanderbilt University Law School.


This caring about constituents, customers and communities over political capital is a common thread across this country.




> Phasing out of HCFC-22 and HFC use in compliance with the Kigali Amendment 


> Harris Teeter achieved the lowest refrigerant emissions rate among all retail supermarket chains last yearWhole

> Foods Market was the grocery industry’s loudest proponent of it


> 585 buildings, all 5 food distribution centers using HFC-free refrigerants by 2016 and 1,081 stores by 2017

> Stand-alone units less than 2,200 BTU/hour to use HFC-free refrigerants.



> Switched over to a CO
2 based refrigerant system

> Reduced installation costs and electrical energy by 15% and a 20% savings in heating gas usage



There are so many opportunities out there for you to express your commitment. Just pick what works best for you! Here are some of the top private environmental governance initiatives to check out:


ISO 14000 certification

The environmental gold standard and one of the most widespread opportunities taken advantage of. The ISO 14000 family of standards provides practical tools for companies and organizations of all kinds looking to manage their environmental responsibilities. It exists to help organizations:

✔ minimize how their operations and processes negatively affect the environment
comply with applicable laws, regulations and other environmentally oriented requirements
continually improve

And this isn’t just a broad initiative! More interested in environmental management systems? There’sISO 14001. Design, development, management, reporting and verification of your greenhouse gas inventory your thing? ISO 14064. UBS banks is one of the top advocates for this initiative.


Dow Jones Sustainability Index

A list of thousands of publicly traded companies evaluating their sustainability. They are the longest running global sustainability benchmarks and have become the key reference point in sustainability investing. If you perform poorly here, than a financial loss is sure to follow. Companies that don’t operate sustainably or ethically aren’t included. You can put your money where your mouth is use your money towards companies that reflect your environmental values and commitments.


LEED certification

One of the most popular worldwide initiatives for environmentally responsible building construction. It allows for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of resource-efficient, high-performing, cost-effective buildings.


Some examples include older buildings like The Empire State Building and King Street Station in Seattle and newer buildings like ARIA Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and even a local H-E-B grocery store in Austin, Texas.

Think about the other side of the balance sheet and how much waste being reckless and emissions inefficient creates. Refrigerant leaks increasing costs and energy usage. More labor, parts and materials being used because of shorter equipment life. We suggest anyone that owns a building, cares about refrigerants or will have a financial stake in the success or failure of the HVAC/R industry to read the full paper and consider the initiatives promoted by the authors.

If the government is going to deregulate, we as citizens, employees and leaders need to stand up and change our fate. Interested in the full report chock full of facts and solutions? 


Download the Full Paper

And if you’re looking for a partner in refrigerant sustainability, turn to Trakref. We’re a software corporation that has been in the regulatory compliance software and environmental compliance calendar software space for years. As an environmental software provider, we make sure our refrigerant capabilities will help you in your journey towards sustainability, as well as helping you with ESG reporting and answering sustainability audit questions. Get in touch with a Refrigerant Geek today.

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