Basic Policy on CFC-Free Products
Commercial-use refrigerators and other low-temperature appliances use two types of CFCs—refrigerants to lower internal temperatures, and foaming agents for insulating materials. Previously, specified CFCs R12 and R502 were used as refrigerants, and R11 was used as a foaming agent for insulating materials. But attention gradually shifted toward CFC alternatives in the 1990s. In addition, in the 2000s, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which had been used as an alternative CFC, were replaced by hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which have no chlorine content and thus essentially zero ozone depletion potential. However, HFCs have a robust greenhouse effect similar to CFCs and HCFCs, so a shift toward non-CFC usage is needed.
The Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law, which was enacted in April 2015, sets sweeping measures across the whole fluorocarbon lifecycle, from production to disposal, and also obligates manufacturers to lessen the environmental impact caused by the use of fluorocarbons. Hoshizaki is engaged in R&D to switch from high-GWP (global warming potential) refrigerant fluorocarbons to low-GWP refrigerants.
Wider User of CFC-Free Insulating Materials
We believe that CFCs, which are used as foaming agents in heat insulating materials, are one of the issues in improving the environmental performance of products, and have been promoting technological innovation.
In 2007, Hoshizaki adopted cyclopentane for its foaming agent and began using it in non-CFC worktop refrigerator/freezers and beer showcases. In fiscal 2012, we expanded use of the non-CFC insulating material to vertical refrigerators, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, in August 2020, Hoshizaki completed conversion of all foaming agents to non-CFC alternatives.
Wider Use of CFC-Free Refrigerants
In Europe, non-CFC requirements have been tightened, including F-gas Regulation that takes effect in 2022 and ban the sale of products using alternative CFC refrigerants. Hoshizaki has been making and selling ice machines using R290, a natural, refrigerant-grade propane, since 2009. The debut of these ice machines marked a world’s first in the commercial-use ice machine market. We continue to improve upon the technology and expand our product lineup.
In the Americas, we began producing non-CFC (propane-using) commercial-use refrigerators in 2019. Demand has accelerated in Japan as well for CFC-free refrigerators used at retailers and convenience stores, and we are presenting various proposals using proprietary technology while also watching market trends.
Product Maintenance/Upgrade and CFC Capture
Our sales companies keep customers’ equipment in optimal condition through regular maintenance of products in use for customers who sign up for this service and through product upgrades. In addition, when the time comes for products to be repaired or scrapped, we fulfill technical standards under the Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law and capture CFCs from the products.