Environmental Sustainability

Climate change has long-since ceased to be a scientific curiosity, and is no longer just one of many environmental and regulatory concerns. As the United Nations Secretary General has said, it is the major, overriding environmental issue of our time, and the single greatest challenge facing environmental regulators. It is a growing crisis with economic, health and safety, food production, security, and other dimensions.

– United Nations Environment Programme, Climate Change, Introduction, extracted from www.unep.org in Aug’10

Naturally, energy from the sun warms the earth’s surface and, as the temperature increases, heat is radiated back into the atmosphere as infra-red energy. Some of this energy is absorbed within the atmosphere by greenhouse gases. This way, the earth keeps itself warm and conducive for life. However, human activities have added more and more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, causing global temperatures to rise unnaturally and environmental problems to manifest. There is alarming evidence that if go unchecked, global warming is primed to cause irreversible changes in major ecosystems and planetary climate. The news to date is bad, and getting worse.

A key way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat within the earth’s atmosphere is to switch from using HCFC refrigerants to hydrocarbon refrigerants in air-conditioning and other forms of cooling systems.

Unlike traditional chemical refrigerants, hydrocarbon refrigerants, also known as HC, dissipate quickly when released into the atmosphere.

Characteristic / Refrigerant R12 R134a R22 R407c HC M 30 HC M 50
Class Classification CFC HFC HCFC HFC HC HC
Ozone Depletion Potential (index) 1 0 0.05 0 0 0
Global Warming Potential (100 years) 10,980 1,430 1,810 1,800 8 8
Atmospheric Lifetime (yrs) 100 14 12 a <1 <1