PAST: THE CLIMATE FRIENDLY COOLING PLEDGE

JUNE 2, 2021 

TIME: 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM ET

ARCHIVE

Action is needed now by college staff in facilities, EHS, sustainability, student life, business offices, auxiliary services, housing, dining, planning, and procurement. Changes within all these staff areas to manage a group of very damaging greenhouse gases is environmentally and legally required. 

DESCRIPTION

In 2016, 170 countries agreed to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that phased down hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs) refrigerants, a class of potent greenhouse gases. HFC refrigerants are thousands of times more potent compared with carbon dioxide, and are among the fastest-growing climate pollutants in the world. 

 

This treaty spurred a global push for better management of HFCs and a transition to climate-friendly refrigerants.  The United States recently committed to these goals via bipartisan legislative action.

 

The good news is that Project Drawdown estimates that refrigerant management has the potential to reduce emissions by 57.75 gigatons of CO2eq through 2025, worldwide, and to prevent a crucial .5 degrees Celsius of atmospheric warming. Other groups estimate that improved refrigerant management could generate $39 billion in economic benefits by 2027. (If warming exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius, scientists predict that over three billion lives will be at risk.)

 

On June 2 at 3 PM ET, the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium, along with the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, the Yale Refrigerants Initiative, and SCUP, CSHEMA, AASHE, APPA, are hosting a webinar on what actions campuses are taking to address this critical topic. The webinar will feature experts on integrating refrigerant management best practices into student and staff initiatives, legislation impacting HVAC equipment, buying options for sustainable technologies, and leaders on programmatic responses. 



SPEAKERS

Tilden Chao - Director, Yale Refrigerants Initiative 

Tilden is an undergraduate at Yale studying economics and the environment, working toward a certificate in the Energy Studies Multidisciplinary Academic Program. He is passionate about climate change economics (emissions trading schemes, carbon pricing, and incentives), Short-Lived Climate Pollutants and refrigerant management, and corporate sustainability. 

 

On campus, Tilden directs the Yale Refrigerants Initiative, a grant-funded project aimed at reducing environmental impact from student mini-fridges and improving refrigerant management best practices in the university. He is an EPA Section 608-certified refrigerant handler, with Universal certification.

 

Miranda Gorman, PhD - Senior Research Fellow, Industry, Project Drawdown 

Miranda Gorman, Ph.D. is an environmental engineer whose research focuses on the sustainability of material resources. She has published peer-reviewed research papers and presented at international conferences on impact from refrigerant gases. 

 

Dr. Gorman completed her Ph.D. in 2019 in the Environmental Engineering, Sustainability and Science Group at Carnegie Mellon University, where she developed a framework for assessing the complete life cycle of a resource as well as future projections for material flows. Dr. Gorman received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Environmental Engineering from Duke University.

 

Kristen Taddonio  - Senior Climate and Energy Advisor, Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD)

Kristen is a leader of the Climate Friendly Cooling Project, an initiative aimed at improving HVAC energy efficiency and better managing high-Global Warming Potential Refrigerants. She will cover the resources available to facilities managers and sustainability officers, such as sustainable refrigerator buying guides, and the Climate Friendly Cooling Pledge. 

 

Jim Romanski - Power Plant Manager, Yale Office of Facilities

Jim will discuss the thrust behind refrigerant management on college campuses: why do we do it, and why do we care? As the facility manager responsible for containing and managing refrigerants in chillers at the Yale Central Power Plant, Jim will share his experiences in the field and the impact that good refrigerant management can have on university pocketbooks and on the climate. 

 

Laurie Husted, Chief Sustainability Officer and Daniel Smith, Energy Manager; Bard College

Laurie is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Bard College, and is a leader in the push for better refrigerant management practices on college campuses. Laurie will discuss the practical steps that college campuses can take to reduce refrigerant impact, and outline the steps required to inventory refrigerant gases on campuses. Daniel Smith is the Energy Manager and Special Projects Coordinator at Bard College and the staff member responsible for the inventory on campus.