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Published: Friday 23 August, 2013

michaels kors purses michaels kors purses A Boston Globe blog on living Green in Boston

It was an unqualified win for the environment: The phaseout of ozone depleting gases used as coolants in refrigerators and air conditioners the world over.

But in the last generation, their celebrated replacement, while not ozonedamaging, has also turned out to be deeply harmful to the environment. Called hydrofluorocarbons, they are potent greenhouse gases and can persist for years in the environment. Growing in popularity, some projections say HFCs could account for 19 percent of heattrapping emissions by 2050.

But there is a natural michaels kors purses solution one that was all but ignored by businesses until an unlikely alliance was forged among environmentalists and industry, according to the Harvard Belfer Centers Environment and Natural Resources Program that recently chose the consortium for a prestigious award.

The companies Coca Cola, McDonalds, Unilever, and PepsiCo and Greenpeace and the United Nations Environment Program have worked in recent years to substitute HFCs with natural refrigerants such as ammonia, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons.

Called Refrigerants, Naturally!, the group works to develop technologies that are safe, reliable, affordable, and energy efficient. Coca Cola, which is already using the natural gases in a growing number of new refrigeration units, has pledged to ensure all new refrigeration equipment will have the natural refrigerants by 2015.

The soft drink giant began working with Greenpeace after the environmental group lobbied companies during the much advertised green 2000 Sydney Olympics that Coca Cola and McDonalds sponsored.

These are the worst greenhouse gases you never heard of, said Amy Larkin, director of solutions for Greenpeace.

Corporations began looking for alternatives but found few. In 2004, Refrigerants, Naturally! was launched by McDonalds, Coca Cola and Unilever to encou michaels kors purses rage manufacturers to make products using nonHFC gases and to share technology. Today, the group estima michaels kors purses tes hundreds of thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions have been prevented from entering the atmosphere because of the effort. The consortium began with a handful of companies and now has won commitments from 400 to begin phasing out HFCs.

We have 10 million pieces of equipment, we buy a million units a year, said Jeff Seabright, vice president, Environment and Water Resources for

Coca Cola Co. He said the use of natural refrigerants is slightly more expensive but as more companies use them, he expects cost to be competitive with HFCs within a few years.

The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, a chemical industry trade group, has said HFCs are far less harmful to the environment than their precursors. However, in an email, executive director Dave Stirpe cqsaid the Alliance does support a phasedown but not a phaseout.

The award, called the Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership, is given out every two years to an outstanding publicprivate partnership project that enhances environmental quality.

Henry Lee, director of Harvards Environment and Natural Resources program said the winning program was rigorously examined. It makes a creative and significant contribution to improving the environment, he said, and at a time we are having great difficulty getting climate change passed, here is a project that has made a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gases. michaels kors purses