Virtual Study Tour on Sustainable Refrigerant Management

A man in work clothes in front of an industrial plant

Exploring Global Best Practices

In the spirit of education through exploration, the Climate and Ozone Protection Alliance (COPA) hosted a Virtual Study Tour for its members throughout March and April 2024. This unique initiative, aimed to take COPA members on a threefold series of virtual visits to facilities of companies from around the world and sharing their strategies for effectively managing accumulated banks of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) banks. 

The tour started with a warm welcome from Nicole Wilke of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), emphasizing that “this virtual study tour offers a unique opportunity to explore innovative strategies employed by companies worldwide and effectively managing accumulated banks of ODS and HFC banks”. 

Getting insights into refrigerant reclamation, destruction, and dismantling 

The first destination was Chile, where participants virtually visited the Regener plant, the country’s first refrigerant regeneration center, which has been established with the support of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Through insightful video demonstrations, attendees were guided step by step through the refrigerant regeneration process, resulting in characteristics equivalent to that of a virgin refrigerant. 

Continuing the journey, COPA members traveled higher up north to Ecuador, where they delved into the innovative practices of UNACEM, one of the country’s largest cement companies. UNIDO supported UNACEM in the design, development, and implementation of ODS and HFCs destruction and dosing systems in the cement kiln. By watching a video and listening to a presentation the participants learned about the destruction of ODS in a cement kiln. 

The virtual study tour culminated in China, where participants explored Aohong, the country’s largest company trading with recovered refrigerants, and Harson, a car maintenance service provider recovering refrigerants in mobile air conditioning systems. Prior to the virtual visits, experts from China Automotive Technology & Research Center (CATARC) provided insights into refrigerant collection and recovery in Chinese automobiles. 

This virtual tour showcased best practice examples of refrigerant reclamation, destruction, and dismantling, offering participants invaluable inspiration and practical knowledge for fostering environmentally responsible practices throughout the lifecycle of refrigerants. Further expert insights enriched each session and shared their experiences in a panel discussion. 

Watch the recordings on the COPA website

About COPA

COPA advances holistic solutions for lifecycle refrigerant management by combining financing, policy making and expertise in recovery, reclamation, and destruction technologies with hands-on experience in the cooling sector. The Alliance increases knowledge, creates awareness, and contributes to securing sustainable financing solutions for a range of ODS and HFC banks management measures.

COPA was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and is funded under the International Climate Initiative (IKI). 

The alliance is jointly implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

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IKI Office
Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH
Stresemannstraße 69-71

10963 Berlin


Further information

COPA Website 

GIZ Website

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