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RAL CO2OL Print: the Carbon Footprint Tool for Resource-Efficient Fridge Demanufacturing

When it comes to disposing of waste electrical and electronic equipment, experts agree that demanufacturing end-of-life refrigeration appliances is the most effective way to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions provided that demanufacturing is carried out in a transparent manner and in accordance with meaningful quality standards.

RAL CO2OL Print: the Carbon Footprint Tool for Resource-Efficient Fridge Demanufacturing
Luxembourg, Luxembourg, July 23, 2014 --( The RAL Quality Assurance Association is now able to provide the WEEE processing sector with a mature and tried-and-tested tool that uses a transparent methodology to deliver reliable quantitative data that underscores the positive contribution that the fridge recycling sector is making to achieving carbon reduction targets.

The tool, which goes under the name RAL CO2OL PRINT, was presented for the first time by the RAL Quality Assurance Association on 30 May in Luxembourg. The tool is an integral part of the RAL Quality Assurance Association’s service portfolio and is designed for fridge recycling companies who want to quantify and assess the carbon emission savings generated by their plants.

As explained at the presentation event, the new RAL CO2OL Print tool also benefits take-back schemes and appliance manufacturers who commission recycling companies to process end-of-life refrigeration equipment on their behalf. Manufacturers and take-back schemes need to know how the quantities of CFCs and hydrocarbons recovered from waste appliances translate into carbon emissions savings.

The most significant elements determining the size of the carbon footprint of a fridge demanufacturing plant are the plant’s output materials.

In terms of climate protection, the most important output materials from a fridge demanufacturing plant are the climatically harmful VFC (1) and VHC (2) refrigerants and foam blowing agents, which are recovered from the waste appliances and then sent for destruction.

Example CO2 equivalencies:

- 1kg of CFC R12 from the cooling circuit is equivalent to 10,900 kg CO2
- 1kg of CFC R11 from the foam insulation is equivalent to 4,750 kg CO2

Experts have confirmed that the other reusable and recyclable secondary raw materials recovered during fridge demanufacturing (compressor oil, cables, polyurethane, ferrous metals, copper, aluminium and polystyrene) also contribute to an effective reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Realistic carbon emission reductions are calculated on the basis of the data acquired by systematically monitoring all of the material streams entering and exiting the demanufacturing plant.

Comprehensive monitoring of plant operations involves the detailed daily logging of all material streams in accordance with the specifications of the RAL Quality Assurance Scheme GZ 728 or the European standard EN 50574:2012.

The RAL CO2OL Print methodology used to calculate the carbon emission savings generated by the demanufacturing process involves identifying and quantifying all of the direct and indirect emissions of climatically harmful greenhouse gases in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents (from the consumption of carbon-based energy sources to power the plant to identifying potential losses of greenhouse gases during the demanufacturing process).

Demanufacturers in Luxembourg, Austria, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland are already using the RAL CO2OL Print methodology.If you are interested in applying the RAL CO2OL Print tool or would like to learn more about it, please address your enquiries to:

Dipl.-Ing. Christoph Becker
RAL Gütegemeinschaft Rückproduktion von Kühlgeräten e.V.
[RAL Quality Assurance Association for the Demanufacture of Refrigeration Equipment]
BP 1228, L-1012 Luxembourg

Tel.: 00352-48836141

About the RAL Quality Assurance Association

The RAL Quality Assurance Association for the Demanufacture of Refrigeration Equipment is one of over 160 quality assurance associations that operate under the umbrella of the German Institute for Quality Assurance and Certification [RAL - Deutsches Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung e.V.;] for the purpose of establishing and maintaining quality-assured products and services across a wide range of industrial and business sectors.

The RAL Institute was founded in Germany in 1925 by leading industrial and state institutions to provide impartial and reliable information on the quality of good and services.

Since then the RAL Institute has been actively promoting the implementation of objective quality standards by defining performance criteria and by issuing quality marks on the basis of a uniform and fair system of assessment.

The main focus of RAL’s work is on assuring that products are manufactured and services are delivered in accordance with clearly defined and accepted quality criteria.

These quality and test specifications are developed and compiled in conjunction with competent expert bodies (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Federal Environmental Agency, etc.) and relevant authorities and associations from business, trade and industry.The jointly agreed specifications that result from this collaborative undertaking are then published by RAL for widespread use.

(1) VFC = volatile fluorinated hydrocarbons (e.g. all CFCs)

(2) VHC = volatile hydrocarbons (e.g. propane, butane, pentane)
Contact Information
RAL Quality Assurance Association
Christoph Becker

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