Nestlé to phase out HFC ice-cream freezers

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke
Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke

Related tags: Carbon dioxide

Nestlé plans to phase out its HFC (hydrofluorocarbons) refrigerants by 2016 and replace them with non-HFC refrigerants (natural refrigerant alternatives), across Europe.

Speaking to FoodProductionDaily, Philippe Aeschlimann, corporate spokesman, Nestlé, would not reveal how much the project would cost.

He said compared to its current technology, the "horizontal ice cream chest freezers will reduce energy consumption by more than a third, in comparison with existing systems​".

We have already started the initiative this year and we will have a bigger rollout next year and complete the phase-out by 2016,​” he said.

The European Commission and the European Parliament believe that a phase-down of HFCs is best to reduce the consumption of HFCs, said the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE).

The Commission proposes a 79% reduction of consumption by 2030, the European Parliament proposes a 84% reduction, according to the trade organisation.

Alternative refrigerants

The ice cream freezers will now use substances like carbon dioxide, ammonia, water or air and hydrocarbons, like propane and iso-butane, which allegedly does not harm the ozone layer.

Nestlé claims to have introduced 18,000 natural refrigerant hydrocarbon freezers worldwide.

It says it has invested more than CHF 240 million to replace synthetic refrigerants with natural alternatives in more than 92% of its industrial refrigeration systems.

The European Commission proposes a two-stepped ban on commercial refrigerators and freezers with a first GWP (Global Warming Impact) of 2,500 by 2017, and with a second GWP limit of 150 in 2020.

The European Parliament wants the same number of steps but with a first GWP limit of 2,150 in 2015, and a second full ban by 2018.

All EU institutions are in the process of negotiating a final compromises, so the F-gas rules can still change.

Aeschlimann added that the project exceeds guidelines of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) resolution on refrigeration, which encourages businesses to take action on phasing out some HFC refrigerants from 2015.

The CGF is a global network that brings together more than 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and stakeholders across 70 countries.

Elected co-chairman

He added Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke was elected as co-chairman of the CGF in July 2013.

The organizations share knowledge on five strategic objectives to the advancement of the consumer goods industry: emerging trends, sustainability, health and safety, operational excellence, and knowledge sharing and people development.

I am looking forward to serving The Consumer Goods Forum, which is growing in importance, and supporting its vision of ‘better lives through better business,​” Bulcke said at the time.

He has been elected as co-chair alongside Dick Boer, CEO of international retail group Royal Ahold.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging, Ice Cream

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