NASRC is an action-oriented 501c3 nonprofit working to advance the use of natural refrigerants in supermarkets. The organization collaborates across every sector of the supermarket refrigeration industry to address the barriers preventing the widespread adoption of natural refrigerants.
Carbon dioxide (CO2), ammonia and propane have zero or near-zero global warming potential (GWP), making them climate-friendly and future-proof natural alternatives to hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants (HFCs). However, unique market challenges — such as upfront cost premiums, service readiness, and technology availability — have prevented the widescale adoption of natural refrigerants in US supermarkets.
HFCs are super-polluting greenhouse gasses that trap heat in the atmosphere at thousands of times the rate of CO2. Although regulations that seek to reduce the use of HFCs in the US have lagged behind the rest of the world, 2022 marked the start of new federal and state rules that are helping drive the transition away from these legacy refrigerants.
At the federal level, the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to phase down production and consumption of HFCs in the United States by 85% by 2036. This mirrors the global efforts reflected in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
Some states have enacted restrictions on HFCs that go beyond the federal requirements. California has introduced stringent regulations that will require the use of refrigerants with a GWP of less than 150 in new stores, as well as the reduction of GWP use in existing stores by 2030. Washington and New York are also establishing more stringent regulations that go beyond federal rules.
NASRC is leading efforts to accelerate the transition to natural refrigerants as a solution to these increases in regulatory pressures.
“The use of natural and sustainable refrigerants has gained more and more traction in the commercial refrigeration sector. The customers of this sector are increasingly looking for safe, efficient, and technologically advanced solutions with a low GWP impact. For this reason, Frascold has invested heavily in R&D related to natural refrigerants and we are proud to have joined NASRC, with whom we can share the same vision on sustainable innovation,” said Kristian Ellefsen, CEO of Frascold USA.
Frascold, with global operations based in Milan, Italy, is a manufacturer of compressors for refrigeration and air conditioning. Its distribution network covers 86 countries, and it operates subsidiaries in China and India, in addition to its Frascold USA subsidiary in the US. It has been operating in the European market for more than 80 years, and it entered the US market in 2015.
The company has demonstrated a commitment to expanding natural refrigerant technology solutions in the US. It has a large variety of CO2 compressors that are being introduced to the US market and is also expanding its solutions for hydrocarbons and ammonia.
“With a sustainable future in mind, Frascold has worked tirelessly for the past two decades to achieve a leading place in the compressor market related to low GWP refrigerants. Our efforts have resulted in a product line that spans the natural refrigerant spectrum from Hydrocarbons to CO2 and more. We are currently focusing heavily on introducing and supporting these products in the US market where the regulations are heading more and more towards these natural refrigerants,” said Matteo Iobbi, Chief Technical Officer of Frascold USA.
“We’re excited to welcome Frascold into our network,” said NASRC Executive Director, Danielle Wright. “They’ve demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing natural refrigerants globally, and we look forward to leveraging their expertise to drive progress un the U.S. market.”
NASRC works with stakeholders from virtually every sector of the grocery refrigeration industry. Its membership network represents more than 38,000 US food retail locations, along with service contractors, manufacturers and suppliers, consultants, engineering firms, trade associations, distributors, and nonprofits.