REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE - Refrigerant Emissions Alternatives and Leakage - blended learning for low GWP refrigerants

LIFE16 GIC/UK/000007

Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  

Contact details:

Contact person: Miriam RODWAY
Tel: +44208 2547 846
Fax: +44 208 2547 846
Email: miriam@ior.org.uk

Project description:


Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were developed by the chemical industry as substitutes for chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are extremely damaging to the ozone layer and were eventually banned in 1992 by the Montreal Protocol.

Although HFCs are currently commonly used in refrigeration, air conditioning, foam blowing agents, aerosols, fire protection and solvents, are often misleadingly considered by their manufacturers as ‘environmentally friendly’ as they do not deplete the ozone layer like CFCs and HCFCs.

HFCs are, however, highly potent greenhouse gases and contribute significantly to climate change. The refrigeration and air conditioning sector in particular is predicted to emit 70 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2030.

To address this issue, a 2014 EU Regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases (EU Regulation No 517/2014) requires a 70% cut in the consumption of HFCs by 2030, weighted by global warming potential (GWP). Within the air conditioning sector alone, the new Regulation makes possible a reduction in fluorinated greenhouse gases of some 46 000 kt CO2eq.

However, it is estimated that there over 34 million pieces of equipment/systems that must be replaced in order to achieve the goals of the Regulation. This will require a major awareness-raising and training programme targeted at the industry.


The overall aim of the REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE project is to facilitate the refrigeration and air conditioning sector’s transition towards the use of low GWP refrigerants in order to reduce its CO2 emissions. Specific objectives are to:

  • Increase knowledge levels among the estimated 228 000 technicians working in the sector on the safe use of low-GWP alternative refrigerants through low-cost, accessible multilingual e-learning and train-the-trainer programmes;
  • Address inconsistencies in skills levels across the EU in handling low-GWP alternative refrigerants by providing training materials developed with input from a wide range of technical experts within 13 EU countries. Those resources will be able to be replicated throughout the EU through licencing of materials, ensuring long-term sustainability;
  • Overcome equipment user and distributor concerns regarding the safety, reliability, containment, efficiency and standards compliance of low-GWP refrigerant use, through knowledge sharing and a comprehensive awareness raising campaign across the EU; and
  • Support the effective implementation of the 2014 Regulation’s requirements for information to be made available by EU Member States on the impact of low-GWP alternative refrigerant technologies on EU climate and energy policies.
  • Expected results:

  • Nine e-learning modules covering diverse aspects in relation to refrigeration and air conditioning systems using alternative refrigerants, available in 13 languages in order to be accessible to around 85% of the technicians working in the sector;
  • A high-profile awareness programme throughout the EU led by project beneficiaries and stakeholders representing 13 Member States. This programme will include one conference or industry meeting in each country, attendance at five key annual European trade shows, a website, articles in trade magazines or association newsletters, and at least one meeting per year with policy-makers in each country;
  • Train-the-trainer programme resources, including training materials, five events for vocational trainers in each of the 13 participating countries and four study visits;
  • An outreach programme to promote learning throughout the EU and internationally such as through attendance at UNEP/UNIDO events, Montreal Protocol meetings and professional and technical organisation meetings;
  • A network of experts in delivering low-GWP alternative refrigerant awareness and learning programmes; and
  • A contribution to the targeted reduction in CO2 emissions by the refrigeration and air conditioning sector by 2030.

By the end of this project those employed in the sector and users of cooling equipment across EU Member States will have improved knowledge, skills and awareness of how to use low GWP refrigerants safely and minimise the environmental impact of systems. This will ensure the sector is prepared for a rapid and safe changeover to climate-friendly technologies in new refrigeration and air conditioning equipment and for the conversion of existing systems.



Environmental issues addressed:


Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors
Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in EU ETS sectors


public awareness campaign‚  emission reduction‚  greenhouse gas

Target EU Legislation

  • Industry and Product Policy
  • Directive 2009/125 - Framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related produ ...
  • Directive 2010/75 - Industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (24.11.201 ...
  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • COM(2011)112 - "A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050" (08.03.2011)
  • COM(2014)15 - Policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030 (22.01.2014 ...
  • Regulation 517/2014 - Fluorinated greenhouse gases (16.04.2014)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Institute International du Froid/International Institute of Refrigeration
Type of organisation Professional organisation
Description The Institute of Refrigeration (IoR) is a registered charity that seeks to promote the exchange of good practice in refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumping for public benefit. The IoR has over 3 000 members and nominates experts to European Refrigeration Safety Standards Committees.
Partners Associazione tecnici del Freddo, Italy PROZON Fundacja Ochrony Klimatu, Poland Institute International du Froid/International Institute of Refrigeration, France IKKE gGmbH, Germany UC Limburg vzw, Belgium London South Bank University, United Kingdom Air Conditioning and Refrigeration European Association, Belgium


Project reference LIFE16 GIC/UK/000007
Duration 15-JUN-2017 to 14-JUN -2020
Total budget 703,461.00 €
EU contribution 422,076.00 €
Project location Vlaams Gewest(België - Belgique) Région Wallonne(België - Belgique) Bruxelles-Brussel(België - Belgique) Schleswig-Holstein(Deutschland) Hamburg(Deutschland) Niedersachsen(Deutschland) Bremen(Deutschland) Nordrhein-Westfalen(Deutschland) Hessen(Deutschland) Rheinland-Pfalz(Deutschland) Baden-Württemberg(Deutschland) Bayern(Deutschland) Saarland(Deutschland) Berlin(Deutschland) Brandenburg(Deutschland) Mecklenburg-Vorpommern(Deutschland) Sachsen(Deutschland) Sachsen-Anhalt(Deutschland) Thüringen(Deutschland) Île,de,France(France) Champagne-Ardennes(France) Picardie(France) Haute-Normandie(France) Centre(France) Basse-Normandie(France) Bourgogne(France) Nord-Pas-De-Calais(France) Lorraine(France) Alsace(France) Franche-Comté(France) Pays de la Loire(France) Bretagne(France) Poitou-Charentes(France) Aquitaine(France) Midi-Pyrénées(France) Limousin(France) Rhône-Alpes(France) Auvergne(France) Languedoc-Roussillon(France) Provence-Alpes-Côte d' Azur(France) Corse(France) Guadeloupe(France) Martinique(France) Guyane(France) Réunion(France) Piemonte(Italia) Valle d'Aosta(Italia) Liguria(Italia) Lombardia(Italia) Trentino-Alto Adige(Italia) Veneto(Italia) Friuli-Venezia Giulia(Italia) Emilia-Romagna(Italia) Toscana(Italia) Umbria(Italia) Marche(Italia) Lazio(Italia) Campania(Italia) Abruzzo(Italia) Molise(Italia) Puglia(Italia) Basilicata(Italia) Calabria(Italia) Sicilia(Italia) Sardegna(Italia) Lodzkie(Poland Polska) Mazowieckie(Poland Polska) Malopolskie(Poland Polska) Slaskie(Poland Polska) Lubelskie(Poland Polska) Podkarpackie(Poland Polska) Swietokrzyskie(Poland Polska) Podlaskie(Poland Polska) Wielkopolskie(Poland Polska) Zachodniopomorskie(Poland Polska) Lubuskie(Poland Polska) Dolnoslaskie(Poland Polska) Opolskie(Poland Polska) Kujawsko-Pomorskie(Poland Polska) Warminsko-Mazurskie(Poland Polska) Pomorskie(Poland Polska) Extra-Regio(Poland Polska) Associated Poland (PL)(Poland Polska) North(United Kingdom) Yorkshire and Humberside(United Kingdom) East Midlands(United Kingdom) East Anglia(United Kingdom) South East (UK)(United Kingdom) South West (UK)(United Kingdom) West Midlands(United Kingdom) North West (UK)(United Kingdom) Wales(United Kingdom) Scotland(United Kingdom) Northern Ireland(United Kingdom) Gibraltar(United Kingdom)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Twitter page


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version