MOUNT AIRY — The White House recently invited NCFI Polyurethanes to an exclusive 20-company roundtable discussion about the company’s aggressive efforts at reducing potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The Obama Administration is impressed by NCFI’s commitment and progress in converting the company’s entire engineered building products line from high HFCs to low Global Warming Potential (GWP) products by the end of 2016.
“Our reputation as the industry leader in sustainable polyurethane products and processes caught the eye of the White House,” said Chip Holton, president of NCFI. “It earned us a seat at a recent White House roundtable about significant efforts by the private sector at lowering HFCs. We were one of 20 companies like Dow, Johnson Controls, Honeywell, and Target leading the charge in reducing HFCs.”
Holton said his company’s commitment to sustainability and good corporate stewardship is deeply rooted in company culture. “NCFI was awarded the prestigious U.S. EPA Montreal Protocol Award (Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award) back in 2004 for our contributions to the protection of the Earth’s ozone layer. Being selected by the White House as a private sector example for our commitment to converting our engineered building products to low GWP products is an honor and validation of our efforts.”
The White House said the kind of progress shown by companies like NCFI “demonstrate[s] that U.S. companies are at the cutting edge when it comes to developing the next generation of safe and cost-effective alternatives to HFCs and also incorporating these alternatives into American cars, air conditioners, refrigerators, foams, and other products.”
Holton says the discussion led by Dr. Ernest Moniz, U.S. Sec. of Energy, Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator, John Conger, Assistant Sec. of Defense, and Dan Utech, Dep. assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, focused on the President’s Climate Action Plan, and the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. “We’ve been working on becoming low GWP for awhile now — long before these programs — and will be converted to low GWP far ahead of the deadlines found in the new rules. We had a chance to share why and how we’re aggressively going about these changes with the Obama Administration and some of the largest companies in the U.S. It’s good to see our efforts elevated to the example of what others in our industry can be doing to meet these important goals.”
HFCs are factory-made chemicals that are primarily used in air conditioning, refrigeration, and foam insulation, and they can be up to 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change. Absent ambitious action to limit their use, emissions of HFCs are expected to nearly triple in the U.S. by 2030.