Poll finds European retailers are optimistic about transition from HFCs but challenges remain

One year after the global Kigali amendment to phase-down HFCs, new survey findings from Emerson and international polling company ComRes examine how European retailers are navigating away from HFCs towards lower global warming alternatives. The survey asked professionals in the retail sector to comment on their preparedness for and awareness of more sustainable technologies, and the primary challenges associated with the shift away from HFCs.

Eighty-one percent of respondents said they viewed the shift away from HFCs as a positive change. However, the survey also showed the retail industry was lagging behind schedule due to a lack of clarity in regulatory changes and replacement technologies available. Surprisingly, 40 percent of respondents said they were unaware of upcoming regulatory changes related to the phase-down of HFCs as refrigerants. Nearly half (44 percent) said they either hadn’t started to make the shift, or were unsure.

Where retailers have started to phase-down HFCs, notable priorities for selecting replacement refrigeration systems included safety (57 percent of respondents), energy efficiency (53 percent) and environmental sustainability (48 percent).

Speaking about the survey findings, Eric Winandy, Director of Integrated Solutions, Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions said: “European retailers are enthusiastic about the transition to low GWP refrigerants, but it is concerning that there is still a lack of understanding of the upcoming regulatory changes. It was also surprising that capital and operational cost doesn’t rank as a key driver for retailers identifying replacement systems, as industry analysis shows there could be big maintenance liabilities associated.”