Olympics catering kit at centre of HFC dispute


The authority responsible for monitoring the sustainability of the London Olympic Games has called on LOCOG to provide more clarity on the type of refrigeration systems being used for catering activities during the event.

The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 said it was “not able to fully verify sound assurance processes” within LOCOG for the use of HFC in cooling and refrigeration equipment to ensure its Sustainable Sourcing Code will be complied with.

In its latest review on whether sustainability issues were being met, it said LOCOG requires a range of refrigeration systems for its catering and is finding that HFC-free devices are only available for some of its requirements and not for others.

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“During the course of this review LOCOG was unable to clearly demonstrate the anticipated level of systems that will use HFC,” it stated. “We are surprised that the hire market has not responded to the challenge to supply HFC-free HVAC and refrigeration systems given the extent of LOCOG’s requirements and the time they have had to work together to develop appropriate solutions.”

The report added that LOCOG has been in discussions with the industry about alternative low Global Warming Potential (GWP) replacements for refrigerant gases, but these were not expected to be available to test in the UK until later this year.

It did, however, reveal that beverage brand Coca Cola has “committed” to 100% of its refrigerated vending machines and coolers being HFC-free at the Games.

The Commission has now recommended LOCOG clarify, monitor and report on where it will and will not be using alternatives to HFC, setting out the rationale for any cases where it will be using HFC.

In addition, where HFC-based systems are used, it recommends that they are well maintained and managed to prevent any possible leakage of HFC.

The review also included reference to the procurement process for catering kit being used at the Games, confirming that equipment is being “managed primarily through hiring” so that it can be placed back into the hire market after the event.

“LOCOG did consider a deal with manufacturers with options being provided for post-Games use but found hiring was the most cost effective approach,” said the review. “With light equipment such as pots and pans in the Athletes Village, the contractor will be buying them for their ongoing use with any residual items being distributed via appropriate options such as charities and prisons.”

Tags : gasesHFCOlympicsRefrigerationsustainability
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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