Project objectives

Raise awareness

Raise awareness among end-users and the distribution chain on climate friendly cooling and natural refrigerants through a European sustainability platform with a Refrigerants, Naturally! leadership campaign, guidance documents and social media outreach for the OFR sector.

Increase the uptake of training on climate-friendly alternatives 

The project aims to provide:

  • an RAC school platform;
  • easy-to-access, flexible MOOC e-courses;
  • live webinar sessions on technical policy and market aspects for RAC engineers and OFR end-users;
  • listings of available training suppliers and material.

Improve the uptake of climate-friendly technologies

Improve the uptake of climate-friendly technologies and develop technical specifications for the use of non-fluorinated (partly flammable) technologies through best-practice technology guides, RAC contracting checklists, case studies, and policy and standard guides for the OFR sector.

Support an effective and timely achievement of the EU 2030 climate targets

Support an effective and timely achievement of the EU 2030 climate targets (for small supermarkets up to 1,000m²) through the F-Gas Regulation, Ecodesign Directive, Energy Efficiency Directive, Circular Economy Package, and Heating & Cooling Strategy.

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The Refrigerants, Naturally! for LIFE project (RefNat4LIFE) aims to promote the uptake of climate-friendly cooling alternatives among end-users of refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) equipment and servicing providers. 

In order to reach these targets, the following five measures will be put in place:

RACHP market assessment, stock modelling & technology user needs in the OFR sector/small stores: Quantitative desk research, online surveys and on-site interviews with shop owners and RACHP specialists will allow data to be collected on system types, average energy efficiency and refrigerant levels in cooling and air-conditioning systems.

Refrigerants, Naturally! sustainability platform for capacity building, training, technology selection and outreach: The online platform will be the go-to meeting point for OFR/small retail decision makers, RACHP suppliers and other stakeholders. It will provide a directory of available RACHP training courses addressing sustainable cooling and material in Europe. Guidance documents on technology, best practice, and relevant policies will also be provided as well as case studies and technology needs assessment checklists for contractors. The platform will lay the foundation for a “Ref, Nat!” initiative to support the continuity of the LIFE project after its end and additional projects in the future. 

Sustainability monitor, label feasibility study and Ref,Nat! mission statement: A database will be developed to quantify the savings from direct and indirect emissions from new RAC equipment. The criteria for the EU eco-label for sustainable food retail stores will be revised for small store concepts and for existing sustainability monitors that will be adapted with data on RAC unit target indicators. The criteria for the Ref, Nat! label will be developed based on target indicators which will reward those making a stronger effort to turn towards sustainable RAC.

MOOC RAC training with interactive e-courses: RefNat! for LIFE will create an integrated, easy to use, mobile MOOC (massive open online course) platform as well as two e-courses on technical and non-technical aspects for the RACHP and OFR sectors. The content will be optimized for self-paced learning with live webinars for a direct trainer-student interaction.

Communication & dissemination: Throughout all the project’s phases, the results will be shared on the website, via e-newsletters, articles, webinars and through other channels.