PepsiCo has announced that all of its vending machines, water fountain dispensers and coolers will be free of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 2020. The chemical coolant is considered a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
PepsiCo said it will begin purchasing new HFC-free equipment in 2015. The beverage giant has reportedly begun to phase out HFCs in its equipment outside of the U.S., buying since 2009 more than 290,000 HFC-free equipment units, which use an insulation foam that doesn’t contain the harmful chemical.
The company said it has also minimised the impact of existing equipment by reengineering its coolers and vending machines to improve their energy efficiency by 60%, compared with a 2004 baseline. These combined efforts have reportedly reduced total greenhouse gas emissions by 18% since 2007.
Meanwhile, the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) filed a request with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asking for an extension on the comment period for a proposed rule that could potentially alter the list of acceptable uses for refrigeration coolants used in vending machines and micromarket coolers. If the rule goes into effect, several refrigeration chemicals and blends previously listed as acceptable alternatives to ozone-depleting substances could be considered “unacceptable” in certain circumstances, including in vending and refreshment industry equipment.