MOUNT AIRY, N.C.—NCFI Polyurethanes' aggressive efforts to reduce greenhouse gases in its products earned the firm a trip to the White House and an exclusive 20-company roundtable session dealing with lowering hydro fluorocarbons.
The company impressed government agencies with its commitment and progress in converting its entire engineered building products line from high HFCs to low Global Warming Potential goods by the end of 2016, the firm said.
HFCs are factory produced chemicals primarily used in air conditioning, refrigeration and foam insulation. They can be up to 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change, NCFI said.
“Our reputation as the industry leader in sustainable products and processes caught the eye of the White House,”said NCFI President Chip Holton. “We were one of 20 companies like Dow, Johnson Controls, Honeywell and Target leading the charge in reducing HFCs.”
The company's commitment to sustainability and good corporate stewardship is deeply rooted in the firm's culture, he said.
NCFI was awarded the U.S. EPA Montreal Protocol Award in 2004 for its contributions to the protection of the Earth's ozone layer, Holton said. And being selected by the White House for its work in lowering HFCs in its products “is an honor and a validation of our efforts,” he added.
White House officials acknowledged that companies such as NCFI are at the cutting edge when it comes to developing the next generation of safe and cost effective alternatives to HFCs for foams, cars, air conditioners, refrigerators and other products.
According to Holton, the roundtable discussion was led by Ernest Moniz, secretary of energy; Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator; John Conger, assistant secretary of defense; and Dan Utech, assistant to the president for energy and climate change. They focused on President Obama's Climate Action Plan and the EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy 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,” Holton said. “We had a chance to share why and how 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.”