Canadian Consulting Engineer

Johnson Controls joins White House discussion on refrigerants and reducing GHGs

October 8, 2014
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

Company commits to $50 million in R&D spending over three years focused on developing and expanding its low-global warming potential portfolio of heating and cooling products

MILWAUKEE – (September 16, 2014) – Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, today  will join private and public sector industry leaders in a White House roundtable discussion to phase down the use of high global warming refrigerants, which are used in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. Johnson Controls commits to spend over $50 million over the next three years to develop new products and improve and expand its existing low-global warming potential (GWP) portfolio.

The President’s Climate Action Plan highlights the urgent need to reduce emissions caused by some hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, and is seeking goals, commitments and partnerships that catalyze the transition to more climate-friendly alternatives, where practical.  According to the White House, emissions of high global-warming-potential HFCs – potent greenhouse gases – are expected to nearly double from current levels of 1.5 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 3 percent by 2020, and triple by 2030 if action is not taken.

 “We applaud the Administration and the regulatory agencies for taking a collaborative approach with industry to manage the phase-down in use of HFCs,” said Laura Wand, vice president, chiller solutions, at Johnson Controls’ Building Efficiency business. “

 At the event, Johnson Controls will stress the importance of considering the energy efficiency of the system when selecting a new refrigerant, not just its low global warming potential.  Up to 98 percent of the total CO2 equivalent emissions over the life of air conditioning equipment can be due to energy use alone, not the global warming potential of the refrigerant contained. According to Wand, some new refrigerants being released on the global market can in fact lower equipment efficiency which will have a negative impact on the environment. 

 “The energy efficiency makes the greatest impact on the total carbon-footprint of a system over its life,” said Wand. “Therefore, when making choices on refrigerants, we cannot sacrifice energy efficiency.”

 Johnson Controls has advocated for the interests of its customers during discussions with industry associations and legislators on the regulations and standards related to refrigerants.  Similarly, the refrigerants that it chooses for its products will best fit the needs of its customers and the environment based on safety, energy efficiency, reliability, availability and cost.

 The company has already spent more than $26 million over the past 3 years in the development of low global warming potential technologies.

 Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 170,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2014, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #12 company in its annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list. For additional information, please visit or follow @johnsoncontrols on Twitter.

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