Johnson Controls joined a White House roundtable discussion on October 15, on actions to phase down refrigerants that are believed to have high global warming potential (GWP). Johnson Controls reaffirmed its three-year, $50 million commitment to developing and expanding its existing low-GWP product portfolio announced one year ago.
Since last year, the company has invested $15 million into research and development of low-GWP refrigerants and component technology for scroll, screw and centrifugal compressor-based products.
Over the past decade, Johnson Controls’ industry-leading product innovations for buildings have reduced refrigerant charge in equipment by nearly 30 percent while improving efficiency over 40 percent, which has a major impact on reducing greenhouse gas. Other Research and Development (R&D) focus areas have included efforts to reduce the potential for leaks as well as improved maintenance practices and service training.
“A building’s heating and cooling systems account for approximately 40 percent of its yearly CO2 emissions. We can make an impact on this by improving the energy efficiency of the system to reduce power consumption as well as increase the use of low-GWP refrigerants,” said Laura Wand, vice president, global chiller solutions at Johnson Controls Building Efficiency Business. “Today’s commitment reaffirms our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a comprehensive approach providing safe, economical and available options for our customers.”
In addition to the investment announced at October 2014’s roundtable meeting, Johnson Controls announced today that over the next 12 months the company will complete the following:
- Develop high efficiency, low-GWP refrigerant options in its commercial air-conditioning and industrial refrigeration product portfolio.
- Offer equipment that can be readily retrofitted with low-GWP options for customers concerned that they will not receive the full value over the entire life of their equipment.
- Develop aftermarket retrofit services for customers that desire to convert their existing equipment to low-GWP refrigerants.
In addition, the company will donate up to $100,000 toward independent, third-party, peer-reviewed research to support the development safety standards related to the use of mildly flammable, low-GWP refrigerants. The company also plans to support and participate in an industry effort to develop and standardize service technician and operator training for the safe use of these same refrigerants.
Since 2003, Johnson Controls has made other public commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve sustainability at its own global facilities. From 2002 to 2014, it reduced global greenhouse gas intensity by 41 percent and energy intensity by 40 percent. In addition, it achieved 21 percent of its 25 percent ten year energy intensity reduction goal in only five years as part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Plants Challenge.
“As always, we choose refrigerants for our products that best fit the needs of our customers and the environment, based on safety and efficiency, as well as reliability, availability and cost,” said Wand. “We will continue our commitment to our customers by advocating for them at events like this one.”