FAQs

What does EOS Climate do?
How do refrigerants and other ozone depleting substances (ODS) affect climate change?
Does ODS destruction meet criteria for “additionality?”
What happens to refrigerants that are not destroyed?
Why is safe and effective management of refrigerants becoming a business, environmental and sustainability priority around the world?


What does EOS Climate do?

Based in San Francisco, EOS Climate is the leader in leveraging carbon markets to ensure the complete life cycle management of refrigerants. Today, our projects in the U.S. and around the world are preventing emissions of powerful greenhouse gases, while accelerating the transition to cutting edge sustainable technologies across multiple industrial, commercial, and consumer sectors.

Using standardized protocols originated by EOS and adopted by both the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and the California Air Resources Board (ARB), EOS’ initial focus has been on management of refrigerants recovered from older air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. Since 2010, our projects have delivered more than 2.4 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in emission reductions.

Building on this success, in partnership with global business leaders in sustainable performance, EOS is revolutionizing the way refrigerants – including CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs – are used and managed at end-of-life. As a result, businesses now have an opportunity to go beyond compliance to capture unrealized economic value, mitigate regulatory and reputational risk, and build brand equity through corporate social responsibility.

How do refrigerants and other ozone depleting substances (ODS) affect climate change?

CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs and other refrigerants are powerful global warming gases, up to 11,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). Despite success of the Montreal Protocol in phasing out production of the most harmful gases, a large amount of refrigerants – produced prior to phase-out deadlines – remain in equipment, products, building infrastructure, and other inventories around the world. Collectively, these refrigerants pose a threat not only to the ozone layer but to the climate system as well.

If current trends continue, by 2050, up to one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions could be from refrigerants. Without proper containment, management and other life cycle and end-of-life solutions, eventually these refrigerants will be emitted into the atmosphere, effectively cancelling out other climate protection efforts happening around the world.

The U.S. and other G8 Leaders have committed to comprehensive action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, including hydrofluorocarbons — the fastest growing climate pollutant in the U.S. Dozens of other countries and multi-national corporations have announced similar commitments to reduce reliance on HFC refrigerants. Consistent with the growing international focus on the climate impacts of refrigerants, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol continue to consider a production phasedown of HFCs, proposed by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

The growing global environmental impact of refrigerants underscores the urgency of EOS’ work and commitment to leading innovation in our field.

How does EOS help organizations deal with refrigerants during and at end-of-life?

EOS Climate is the premier global producer of high-quality, verified emission reductions generated from the destruction of ozone depleting substances (ODS). Authors of the first ISO methodology for ODS destruction, we have to-date generated over 2.4 million metric tonnes of verified emissions reductions registered by the Climate Action Reserve. This total includes all 4 eligible ODS/refrigerant types – CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-114 and CFC-115 – from both residential and commercial equipment and systems. We have the expertise to design and implement multiple types of projects in the U.S. and abroad.

EOS offers an integrated system that uses proprietary technologies to extract, purify, aggregate and retire refrigerants, ensuring that they never reach the atmosphere.

We offer businesses multiple solutions for managing refrigerants at end-of-life including: rapid project execution, permanent emissions reductions, transparent and readily monitored verifiable carbon credits, as well as complete life cycle management.

Typical projects take 3-6 months to complete, from submission to certification.

Does ODS destruction meet criteria for “additionality?”

To meet criteria for additionality, a project’s emissions reductions must be beyond – or in addition to – what would have happened in the absence of the project. This criterion is called additionality. Under business as usual, the refrigerants and ozone depleting substances we deal with would not otherwise be destroyed. Conditions for additionality associated with destruction are explicitly addressed in our methodology, as well as the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) Protocols, along with recent reviews by the Montreal Protocol Technology and Economic Assessment Panel and the World Bank. Current CAR Protocols only allow GHG reduction credits (“Climate Reserve Tons”, or CRTs) from destruction of CFCs, and one HCFC (HCFC-141b), which have been phased out. Any import or production of CFCs in the US would be subject to significant penalties under the Clean Air Act. Comparable controls exist around the world.

There are no requirements in the U.S. that ODS still in use or in storage be destroyed, nor any indication, other than one exception, that ODS destruction is common practice in the US. According to US EPA estimates, less than 10% of refrigerant in the U.S. is actually recovered and properly recycled.

What happens to refrigerants that are not destroyed?

All ODS refrigerant that is not destroyed will ultimately be released to the atmosphere, mostly in the next 5-10 years. Air conditioners in older cars and older commercial refrigeration systems can leak between 20 and 50% of their refrigerant each year. Sealed equipment, for example residential refrigerators, do not usually leak. However, at the equipment’s end-of-life – under business as usual – refrigerant is either recovered/recycled to recharge older, typically leaky equipment (resulting in emissions within 2-5 years), or may be simply vented to the atmosphere. In their 2005 Special Report, the Montreal Protocol Technology and Assessment Panel and the International Panel on Climate Change concluded that without immediate action, nearly all CFC refrigerant will be emitted by the year 2015.

Why is safe and effective management of refrigerants becoming a business, environmental and sustainability priority around the world?

Life cycle management of refrigerants is becoming a priority around the world. Driving this change are several, interrelated factors:

  • Cost – Accelerated and anticipated phase-out schedules are forcing up prices for the most prevalent refrigerants (e.g., R-22).
  • Operational Risk – Refrigerant value and scarcity will increase demand for full life cycle management, as well as responsible reclamation.
  • Regulations – Federal, State and local authorities are now increasing requirements for monitoring of refrigerants, refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.
  • Environmental Impact – Growing concern about climate impacts is putting pressure on organizations to track and minimize emissions during equipment operations and at end-of-life.
  • Sustainability – As a strategic imperative, companies are actively seeking refrigerant management solutions to round out their sustainability portfolios.