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14 January 2017

Efforts to Stop Climate Change

Efforts to Stop Climate Change

2016 saw increased activity on a global scale regarding climate change, giving rise to hopes that the movement to eradicate or at least minimize the man-made contribution to this phenomenon will triumph. An important component part of this movement is that businesses are now moving away from using environmentally harmful materials and techniques into cleaner, greener ones.

Much of the focus has been on the use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and how it can be limited. HFCs are the so-called greenhouse gases that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed to be up to 10,000 times more potent in their effect than carbon dioxide. The ubiquity of these gases in our lives is witnessed in many common applications including fire suppression, pressurized cleaning and precision cleaning techniques.

A monumental step towards the limiting of the use of HFCs took place this year in Kigali, Rwanda where the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was agreed to by nearly 200 countries. The Amendment aims to cut the use of the potent warming greenhouse gases by mandating the participating countries to phase down production and usage of HFCs.

“The final deal divided the world economies into three groups, each with a target phasedown date. The richest countries, including the United States and those in the European Union, will reduce the production and consumption of HFCs from 2019. Much of the rest of the world, including China, Brazil and all of Africa, will freeze the use of HFCs by 2024. A small group of the world’s hottest countries such as Bahrain, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have the most lenient schedule and will freeze HFCs use by 2028.“1 The aim being to reduce HFC use by 85 percent between now and 2047 and reduce the emissions of high-Global Warming Potential (GWP) HFCs by more than 70 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent through 2050.

The United States, in turn, has made substantial progress in limiting use and reducing emissions of HFCs, especially with the recent issuance of a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which requires contractors to use, in lieu of high global warming potential (GWP) HFCs, other acceptable alternatives in their products and services, as identified by EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. This rule will allow agencies to better meet greenhouse gas emission goals, as outlined by President Obama in the 2013 Climate Action Plan.

FirePro applauds these global efforts and in turn, contributes to sustainability development goals with its own focus on Green Technologies. FirePro prides itself on its environmentally friendly products, with chemical and physical characteristics that ensure no threat to the environment is posed once activated. EPA’s SNAP program has identified and listed FirePro products as a sustainable alternative to Halon. Bearing the ‘Green Label,’ FirePro products display a Zero Ozone Depletion potential, Zero Global Warming Potential, and Negligible Atmospheric Lifetime. Consistent laboratory testing has demonstrated that the FirePro FPC has no harmful effects on water, air, climatic conditions, animals, plants or micro-organisms. Finally, it should also be noted that all FirePro products are manufactured from environmentally friendly materials which, at the end of their useful lifetime, can be recycled or reused without waste*.

FirePro thus remains dedicated to its mission for a clean and safe planet, having proven time and time again that it is possible to protect lives and assets while at the same time caring for the environment and fighting for a sustainable future for humanity.


1UNEP.org

*Disposing the FirePro units, as per UL Manual (Version 1_Rev6 Nov 2016), Section 14.7, page 53: 14.7 Waste & Environment: After activation and removal the FirePro condensed aerosol generator units can be disposed of as normal waste.

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