Source: MACS Worldwide
The Climate Protection Pledge is a pilot program under the Strategic Climate Projects, Climate Protection Partnerships Division of the U.S. EPA. HFC-134a, the refrigerant used in most automotive and light truck air conditioners on the road today, is recognized as a potent greenhouse gas. The mobile air conditioning industry has been working on system designs, service equipment, tools and procedures to reduce refrigerant leaks. The voluntary Climate Protection Pledge program is designed to recognize those automotive service shops which use tools, equipment and best practices to reduce refrigerant emissions.
Consumers, even in the midst of the current recession, are concerned about the environment, and respond favorably to companies and service providers who demonstrate that they are environmentally responsible. By taking the Climate Protection Pledge, automotive air conditioning service facilities can do the right thing and get recognition for it.
In order to take the pledge, shops must be properly equipped, including on-site use of the latest generation of refrigerant recovery/recycling/recharging equipment. That equipment, which must be certified to SAE International standard J2788, must recovery at least 95% of the refrigerant from an air conditioning system, and recharge the system with the proper amount of refrigerant.
Another important component of the pledge is technician training, and shops taking the pledge are encouraged to have all of their A/C technicians complete a self-study training program focusing on best practices for leak detection, service and repair, equipment maintenance and refrigerant conservation. These practices are designed to promote shop savings and efficiency, consumer satisfaction and environmental protection.
Shops taking the pledge must agree not to promote "top-off" or recharge of leaking A/C systems without first repairing leaks, and must agree to explain the potential A/C system and environmental benefits of having refrigerant leaks repaired.
Shops taking the pledge must also set continuous improvement goals which may include upgrading equipment and tools, training additional technicians in best service practices, implementing tool and equipment maintenance programs or other similar goals.
Shops which meet the criteria for acceptance will be recognized by the U.S. EPA for having taken the Climate Protection Pledge with shop and technician certificates, and other promotional items.