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Posts tagged ‘sustainability’

Recycling Program Contributes to Supply Chain Sustainability

Ashley Ramirez | GO Green Coordinator

Cold Chain Digital Solutions at Emerson

Throughout the perishable food supply chain, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives are driving companies to implement more sustainable practices in all aspects of their operations. Often, this means uncovering issues with existing processes and selecting preferred business partners that help to support a greener supply chain. Emerson is committed to being such a partner.

For customers that use our GO real-time loggers and trackers to monitor the temperature and location of their perishable shipments, we offer a full-service, easy-to-use and free product recycling program called GO GreenSense™. Although efforts to improve sustainability are now considered standard business practices for many companies, our GO GreenSense recycling program has been operational for nearly a decade.

Since most GO real-time loggers and trackers are intended for one-time use, the GO GreenSense program was designed to recover reusable materials from undamaged devices — such as plastic shells, and electronic components — and either recycle them in new products or dispose of them properly in an environmentally friendly fashion.

Why going green matters

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lithium-ion batteries and devices containing these batteries should not be disposed of in household garbage or recycling bins. Instead, they should be taken to a certified battery recycling facility or some other household hazardous waste collection point.

Because lithium-ion batteries have a high energy density in a relatively small physical profile, they have become commonplace in modern electronic devices, including Emerson’s GO real-time trackers. These batteries are composed of critical raw materials — such as cobalt, graphite and lithium — which are considered both economically and strategically valuable resources. But when these batteries are disposed of in the trash, those resources are squandered.

What’s more, if a battery or its containing device is disposed of in the trash or placed in a municipal recycling bin along with other household recyclables such as plastic, paper or glass, it may become damaged. Therefore, lithium-ion batteries should be recycled only at certified battery electronics recyclers.

Since the mass production of plastics began six decades ago, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced. According to a study conducted by National Geographic, most plastic materials end up as trash. A few of the study’s eye-opening conclusions include:

  • Plastic takes more than 400 years to degrade
  • Only 12 percent of total plastics produced have been incinerated
  • 91 percent of all global plastic are not recycled
  • More than 40 percent of plastics are used only once

How GO GreenSense works

Emerson implemented the GO GreenSense recycling program to help facilitate the free and easy return of GO real-time tracker and logger products for proper battery and component recycling. For interested customers, we provide eco-friendly return boxes and the appropriate pre-paid postage labels. Customers can then simply place units in a return box and ship them back to Emerson.

Since GO real-time trackers use lithium-ion batteries, we provide Emerson-branded return boxes that have a “Lithium-ion battery” warning label pre-printed on them. Returned trackers are shipped via FedEx to minimize the potential for damage to the lithium-ion battery during shipping. Simply place the GO real-time trackers and the return form in each box, attach the pre-paid label, and ship via FedEx.

GO real-time loggers use lithium coin batteries that contain less than 0.1 grams of lithium metal per cell. Thus, they can be sent via USPS without the need for a warning label. Simply complete the logger return form, place in provided box with pre-paid shipping label and follow the standard USPS shipping conventions.

Upon receipt, Emerson inspects each returned device and then processes any recyclable components. Emerson hopes to be able to recycle more than 2 million devices this year.

To learn more about GO GreenSense and participate in our GO real-time tracker and logger recycling program, simply contact Emerson Cargo Solutions at +1 877 998 7299 or email us at GoGreen@Emerson.com. We look forward to helping you shrink your carbon footprint by easily recycling your temperature monitoring and tracking devices.

 

 

 

Focus on Greener “Cooling Matters” for World Refrigeration Day

RajanRajendran2 Rajan Rajendran | Global Vice President, Environmental Sustainability

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

June 26 is annual World Refrigeration Day: a day when the world recognizes the significant role that refrigeration plays in modern society. This year’s theme is “cooling matters”; at Emerson, we couldn’t agree more. World Refrigeration Day is a chance for us to reflect on the current state of the HVACR industry, the mega trends impacting the global refrigeration landscape, and how we’re helping to develop and advance ever more reliable and sustainable cooling technologies.

Refrigeration sits at the intersection among three environmental megatrends impacting our world today:

  • Phasing down the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP)
  • Improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings
  • Reducing food waste while increasing global food security

Supporting next-generation refrigeration technologies

In commercial refrigeration, the HFC phasedown and equipment energy consumption are two key factors in lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, through what we refer to as the total equivalent warming impact (TEWI). Refrigerant leaks are direct contributors to GHG emissions, which is why each refrigerant has a relative GWP rating; the higher the GWP rating, the worse the direct GHG impact. The energy consumed by a commercial refrigeration system is considered an indirect contributor to GHG emissions. Combined, these direct and indirect emissions make up a system’s TEWI.

Commercial refrigeration stakeholders are becoming ever more focused on lowering their carbon footprints by reducing these direct and indirect GHG emissions. Many of our customers are setting Net Zero targets and pledging to meet both near- and long-term decarbonization goals. U.S. regulatory mandates are taking shape that will help to drive our industry toward achieving these goals.

At Emerson, we’re committed to leading the transition to lower-GWP, energy-efficient refrigerant technologies. We already have an extensive portfolio of CO2 and R-290 refrigeration components and system technologies to help our customers leverage these proven natural refrigerant options. We’re also actively preparing for the emergence of synthetic A2L refrigerants, which will fill a niche in commercial refrigeration by covering a wide range of applications. Regardless of which refrigerants align best with our customers’ operational and sustainability goals, we’re supporting equipment strategies to help them phase out legacy HFC systems and phase in their next-generation refrigeration technologies.

Today, an estimated 3.6 billion cooling units are in use globally — a figure that is expected to increase to 9.5 billion by 2050. Developing more energy-efficient cooling systems with the ability to optimize energy consumption, flex demand, and enable grid interactivity will be essential for achieving a greener future. Today, Emerson monitors over 70,000 refrigerated sites annually, underscoring the critical importance of our efforts to develop more sustainable ways to ensure essential cooling while minimizing peak energy consumption.

Preserving perishable foods

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, up to 40 percent of the total food supply is wasted in the U.S., with more than 30 percent attributed to food loss at retail establishments and consumer homes. To combat hunger, reduce GHG emissions at landfills, and maximize resource utilization, reducing food waste is among the most critical issues facing our world.

Perishable food preservation — in storage and in-transit — is the primary objective of our refrigeration efforts and cold chain business. We’re committed to reducing food waste through:

  • Reliable Copeland™ compression technologies
  • GO real-time tracking and monitoring devices
  • Lumity™ E3 supervisory control and software platform, and connected control devices
  • Internet of things (IoT) connectivity and data analytics

Our integrated solutions deliver maximum reliability and visibility to food quality and safety from farm to fork. We’re capturing the cold chain data that empowers our customers with the insights they need to extend the life of their perishable products, meet their sustainability goals, and drive bottom-line improvements to their businesses.

So as we observe World Refrigeration Day this year, let’s remember that “cooling matters” must also be balanced with sustainability efforts. At Emerson, this is an everyday guiding principle for our cold chain business.

 

[New E360 Webinar] Regulatory Update: Stay Informed of the Latest Refrigerant Rulemaking

Jennifer Butsch | Regulatory Affairs Director

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

As we near the mid-point of 2022, it’s clear that the global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants is gaining momentum and impacting U.S. commercial refrigeration and HVAC markets. In our next E360 Webinar, Dr. Rajan Rajendran, Emerson’s global vice president of environmental sustainability, and I will overview the latest updates to refrigerant regulations and safety standards. This webinar will take place on Tuesday, June 21 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT.

Throughout the HVACR industry, stakeholders are evaluating their next-generation refrigeration strategies and making plans to transition to lower-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives. Regardless of where your company is on this journey, keeping up with the latest regulatory developments is critical to making informed decisions. Considering that most HVACR equipment is expected to last from 10 to 20 years, it’s imperative to explore equipment strategies that not only stand the test of time, but also align with your operational and sustainability goals. Understanding how regulations are driving the evolution of refrigeration technologies is key to making these important decisions.

If you’ve been following the progression of refrigerant regulations for the past several years, it may have seemed like the HFC phasedown and subsequent transition to lower-GWP refrigerants were faraway concerns that didn’t apply to U.S. stakeholders — except maybe for those operating in California or other Climate Alliance states. Today, that’s simply not the case.

Federal mandates are taking shape that will soon impact all U.S. stakeholders. Equipment standards that govern the safe use of A2L and A3 refrigerants are quickly evolving. Making environmental stewardship pledges at the corporate level has become a much higher priority. Complying with refrigerant regulations, selecting eco-friendly alternatives and meeting corporate sustainability objectives are quickly becoming shared concerns for most U.S. stakeholders.

E360 Webinar presents path forward

To help you find a path forward on your low-GWP refrigerant journey, Rajan and I are hosting a new E360 Webinar that will explain the latest regulatory updates and provide recommendations for next steps. Attendees will learn:

  • Ongoing progress of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act and its impacts on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemaking
  • Status of California Air Resources Board (CARB) refrigerant mandates that went into effect in 2022
  • Update on the safety standards and codes impacting flammable A3 and A2L refrigerants
  • Tips for preparing for the next generation of alternative refrigerants

Register now for this informative and free webinar.

Warm-weather CO2 Strategy Helps Retailer to Hit Sustainability Target

Andre Patenaude | Director – Solutions Strategy

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business

The transition from hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants to lower-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives has become a common denominator in many food retailers’ sustainability strategies. Whether your company is in the early phases of its sustainability journey or has already made significant progress in the race to Net Zero, you’ve likely evaluated the potential of CO2-based refrigeration. Among the many misperceptions about CO2 transcritical booster systems is that they are not well-suited for installations in warmer climates. Emerson recently partnered with Zero Zone to help a leading food retailer prove the business case for warm-weather CO2 refrigeration. To view the full article, click here.

Expanding application potential

When calculating the sustainability potential of a refrigeration system, it’s important to look at its total equivalent warming impact (TEWI), including direct carbon emissions from refrigerant leaks and indirect emissions from energy consumption. Although the natural refrigerant CO2 (or R-744) has a GWP of 1, many supermarket owners and operators have questions about the efficiency of CO2 transcritical booster systems, especially in warmer climates.

CO2 transcritical booster refrigeration systems have been installed in Europe for decades and are expanding rapidly around the globe. Today, nearly 1,000 CO2 transcritical booster systems are installed in the U.S., with adoption projected to increase more than 50% by 2025. System designers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and component manufacturers (e.g., Emerson) have made tremendous strides in developing smart CO2 transcritical booster system strategies that:

  • Improve energy efficiencies in warmer climates
  • Optimize system performance and reliability
  • Lower the total cost of ownership (TCO)
  • Simplify system start-up, operation, high-pressure management and maintenance

Retailers who are now looking at CO2 for the first time will benefit from years of installations and supermarket trials that have significantly improved upon CO2 transcritical booster equipment technologies.

Proving the business case

In a recent collaboration, Emerson partnered with refrigeration OEM Zero Zone to help them design and install a CO2 transcritical booster system for a new supermarket in Joplin, Mo. Due to the location’s warm climate, the design team recommended an emerging high-ambient mitigation strategy designed to maximize the efficiency of CO2 during the summer season. The goals of the project were to help the retailer to meet their sustainability targets while maintaining the highest standards for food quality and safety.

The climate in Joplin averages more than 200 annual hours above R-744’s critical point of 87.8 °F. During these warmer temperatures, a CO2 transcritical booster system would typically enter transcritical mode and consume electricity at a higher rate, but the Emerson and Zero Zone system has been designed to operate efficiently across even these high-temperature ranges. With recent advances in system technologies, stakeholders can choose from multiple CO2 strategies designed to mitigate high-ambient temperatures, minimize transcritical operation, and maximize energy efficiencies.

For the Joplin installation, Zero Zone and Emerson opted to utilize an adiabatic gas cooling strategy on the system’s outdoor condenser/gas cooler. When summer heat builds and R-744 pressures begin to rise within the gas cooler, water is misted onto adiabatic cooling pads — effectively keeping R-744 below its critical point during warm stretches and dramatically improving system efficiency. Today, this installation is operating as designed for Zero Zone’s food retail customer, delivering year-round efficiencies and refrigeration reliability.

The system features a full suite of integrated Emerson CO2 technologies — from low- (LT) and medium temperature (MT) compressors to CO2 refrigeration rack controls case controls and high-pressure controls — that are helping Zero Zone to prove the business case for warm-climate CO2 systems. Not only have these technological advances greatly expanded the potential of CO2 applications in diverse climates, but they’re accelerating CO2 adoption for a new generation of end-users and service technicians.

For more information about the high-ambient CO2 mitigation strategy used in this installation, you can read our case study. To learn about Emerson’s commitment to developing integrated CO2 technologies, please visit our CO2 information hub.

Regulatory Round-up: AIM Act, CARB, A3 and A2L Charge Limit Increases

Jennifer Butsch | Regulatory Affairs Director

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

If you’re like many stakeholders in the commercial refrigeration industry, you know how important it is to keep track of the dynamic regulatory climate. From making refrigerant decisions and selecting next-generation equipment to plan for compliance and meeting sustainability goals, many companies are basing some of their most important decisions on these developments. I recently provided an article to HVACR Business that reviewed several key regulatory updates taking place this year. If you’re hoping to bring the sometimes-confusing regulatory picture into clearer focus, hopefully this will help. You can also view our formatted article here.

AIM Act establishes federal HFC legislation

Signed into law in late 2020, the American Innovation & Manufacturing Act (AIM Act) gave the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in three primary ways:

  1. Phasing down HFC refrigerant supplies by reducing their production and consumption over a 15-year period. Supply-side restrictions began on Jan. 1, 2022, requiring a 10% reduction in HFC production and consumption through 2023. An additional 30% reduction will take effect between 2024 and 2028 with 70% and 80% reductions needed by 2029 and 2034, respectively. These phasedowns are expected to drive up HFC prices significantly as supplies decrease.
  2. Establishing sector-based approvals and HFC restrictions to support the industry-wide transition to lower-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant technologies. Use restrictions will enable specific sectors to transition more quickly while providing additional flexibility for those who may need more time. The EPA can approve new lower-GWP alternatives per sector-based rulemakings, which are expected to begin in 2022.
  3. Regulating HFC management by establishing and enforcing standards in servicing and repair best practices, such as: lowering leak rate thresholds and requiring proper recovery of “used” HFCs for purification and resale (aka reclaim). Previously, the EPA had created Section 608 to govern these best practices; we expect their revised HFC management rulemaking could be built off the Section 608 framework.

CARB rulemaking takes effect

After several years of collaboration with state and HVACR industry stakeholders, the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) proposed rulemaking became final in late 2021 and went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. The final rule establishes HFC phasedown requirements for new and existing facilities, including a company-wide provision for food retailers operating with a fleet of existing stores within California.

  • New facilities — Installation of new refrigeration systems containing more than 50 pounds of refrigerant are required to use refrigerants with less than 150 GWP.
  • Existing facilities — Refrigeration equipment containing more than 50lbs of refrigerant in existing facilities are subject to company-wide, fleet GWP reduction targets by 2030 compared to their 2019 baselines — with two potential paths to compliance: 1) Weighted-average GWP (WAGWP) reduction <1,400 GWP by 2030, where WAGWP is the sum of the total refrigerant charge of every system greater than 50 pounds in every store in California; 2) Greenhouse gas emissions potential (GHGp) reduction by 55%, where GHGp is the sum of the total refrigerant charge of every system greater than 50 pounds in every store in California multiplied by the GWP values of the refrigerant types in use.

Regarding new stationary air conditioning (AC) equipment, refrigerants with a GWP greater than or equal to 750 will be prohibited, starting in 2025.

Evolving safety standards for flammable (A3) and mildly flammable A2L refrigerants

Governing bodies that regulate the safe use of refrigerants in the U.S. have long been evaluating the prospect of increasing charge limits in the flammable A3 (propane, aka R-290) and mildly flammable A2L refrigerants. In 2021, the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved the second edition of its UL 60335-2-89 standard, which included higher charge limits that would expand the potential uses of R-290 and A2Ls in commercial refrigeration.

R-290 charge limit increases — R-290 has a long-held maximum charge limit of 150g and has primarily been used in smaller, self-contained units. The updated UL standard raises the charge limits on these commercial stand-alone displays based on whether they have an open or closed design:

  • 500g maximum charge limit in open appliances (without doors)
  • 300g maximum charge limit in closed appliances (with doors or drawers)

From an application design perspective, higher charge limits will help to increase system capacities while capitalizing on R-290’s high efficiency and low-GWP rating (GWP = 3).

A2L charge limit increases — Per the recently updated UL 60335-2-89 safety standard, new A2L charge limit guidelines have been established for self-contained and remote refrigeration systems. For self-contained equipment, charge limits are determined by equipment design (e.g., open or closed with doors or drawers). Degrees of flammability will vary among different A2L refrigerants, so it’s important to calculate charge limits based on the specific A2L characteristics.

For example, R-454C has a lower flammability limit (LFL) of 0.291 kg/m3, thus:

  • A closed-door case can be charged with up to 2.33 kg (5.1 lbs.) of R-454C.
  • An open case with R-454C can be charged with up to 3.78 kg (8.3 lbs.) of R-454C.
  • In remote or field-erected systems, UL 60335-2-89 supports R-454C charge sizes up to 75.7 kg (166 lbs.) per circuit.

The updated standard requires remote A2L systems to be designed with requisite safety strategies and mitigation measures to keep gas concentrations below flammable thresholds:

  • Leak detection at various points of the refrigeration circuit (e.g., compressor, condensing unit and case)
  • Action plans that immediately mitigate flammability risks

The UL 60335-2-89 second edition update is only the first step in a larger series of regulatory approvals needed to enable higher charges of R-290 and the use of A2Ls in U.S. commercial refrigeration. Additional regulatory and/or policy changes will also need to be approved:

  • EPA Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) approval of specific A2L refrigerants and increased R-290 charge limits
  • ASHRAE 15 safety standard update for refrigeration systems
  • Model code updates in the upcoming code revision cycle, such as: Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC), International Mechanical Code (IMC) and International Fire Code (IFC)
  • State and local building code updates

In the meantime, installing an A2L-based refrigeration system would typically require the approval of local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ), such as fire marshals and/or building inspectors.

To stay informed of the latest regulatory updates that could impact your operational decision-making, please visit our regulations hub.

 

 

 

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