Newsletter 03/2020, Iss. 01

Welcome to the first Green Cooling Initiative Newsletter in 2020!


Dear readers,

Within the last weeks, the world has changed drastically. The WHO has declared the Covid-19 outbreak to be a pandemic and we all face certain changes in our daily behaviour. WHO recommendations include to keep a safe distance between yourself and other people. Crowds or even small social gatherings must be avoided in order to protect yourself and others.

In those challenging times, your health and safety are our priority. In accordance to the WHO recommendations, we are assessing the risks associated with running various events. We have not yet made a final decision for every workshop, side event or conference. But as soon as the information is available, we will inform you on further developments. In case of any additional queries, please contact us directly.

Here is a status quo of our event planning:

  1. [cancelled] May & June: Cool Training in Maintal, Germany
  2. [cancelled] June 9 – 10: Workshop on HFC Phase-Down in Berlin, Germany
  3. [cancelled] June 23 – 24: ODS Bank Africa Regional Workshop and GIZ Proklima Side Event at World Resources Forum in Accra, Ghana

About this newsletter

Afraid of getting bored in times of social distancing? We’ve got you covered! In this edition of our newsletter, we update you on the latest Cool Trainings in Costa Rica, the digital vaccination management tool emmunize, degassing machines in Colombia and many more topics. Please note: This will be the last newsletter in this format since we are relaunching the Green Cooling Initiative website this summer. We will keep you posted.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy and stay cool,

Your GCI Team


  1. Thailand: KMUTNB boosts training for Green Cooling transition
  2. Global: Vaccination tool "emmunize" achieves next milestone
  3. Colombia I: Training on safe maintenance and repair practices for domestic refrigeration
  4. Tunisia: ODS Stakeholder Workshop
  5. Colombia II: Recovering refrigerants properly
  6. Costa Rica: Technicians from Costa Rica and El Salvador are getting fit for hydrocarbons

KMUTNB boosts training for Green Cooling transition

For a long time, Thailand has relied on synthetic refrigerants and is only now discovering the enormous potential in natural-refrigerant technologies. As more manufacturers of RAC equipment switch their production lines to natural refrigerants, Thailand needs to prepare its service workforce to better understand how to use it safely.
In Thailand, where knowledge on flammable natural refrigerants is scarce, efforts are now underway to prepare technicians, vocational teachers and chief trainers from skill development institutes to safely handle cooling agents. Eight training courses were organised in 2019, and more to go in the future. 

For the past year, Assoc. Prof. Chatchan Thongjub of King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok (KMUTNB), has led the country’s first ever training on the "Safe Use and Handling of Flammable Refrigerants". In addition to general knowledge on various types of refrigerants, the course focused on hands-on exercises such as brazing, copper tubing, evacuation, charging and other precautions when dealing with flammable refrigerants.

To train enough RAC technicians, the courses are carried out in collaboration with five key organisations: KMUTNB, the Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), the Department of Skill Development (DSD), the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and GIZ. Altogether, eight training centers have been selected to provide training on natural refrigerants in the north, the north-east, the west, the east, the south, and the central area. The curriculum is under the supervision from KMUTNB.

By 2020, about 200 trainers are expected to be trained. They will then assume the role of knowledge carriers in training their peers or technicians in their respective networks to understand more about Green Cooling.

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Vaccination tool "emmunize" achieves next milestone

In 2018, the digital vaccination management tool emmunize was selected to participate in the accelerator programme by the GIZ Innovation Fund. In December 2019, they reached the next level: After a maturation phase, the team of emmunize received the great news to get further financial support from the innovation fund.
GIZ’s Innovation Fund is an intrapreneurial programme which identifies innovative digital ideas. In a yearly competition, the Innovation Fund is looking for innovative ideas with the potential to advance the international cooperation. Promising projects are supported in their development, maturation and piloting.

Together with a team of GIZ colleagues, Proklima submitted the idea of a digital vaccination reminder to the Fund in 2018. The Innovation Fund saw the potential and selected the team to participate in its accelerator programme. At the end of the Accelerator Programme, two ideas were chosen by the Innovation Fund’s jury for further support. Now, emmunize successfully completed the maturation phase and is ready for the next step: piloting the tool under realistic circumstances. 

It supports health workers in executing their mobile outreaches aiming to improve vaccination services in remote and underserved communities. Worldwide still one in five children misses out on lifesaving vaccines, children living in underserved and remote communities are the ones especially affected. The emmunize team aims to change that and wants to improve the immunization rate in these areas.

More information on emmunize can be found here.

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Training on safe maintenance and repair practices for domestic refrigeration

In the framework of the NAMA Support Project "Colombian NAMA for the domestic refrigeration sector", the Ozone Technical Unit (UTO) of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (Minambiente) and GIZ, organized a five-day training on safe servicing practices of domestic fridges containing R-600a.
From 02 to 06 December 2019, 17 service technicians of the three national producers, two evaluators and two trainers of the national training institute (SENA) participated in the training-of-trainers and got all necessary practical and theoretical skills to replicate this training. Topics included inter alia best practices for brazing and pressing, refrigerant venting procedures, repairs to electrical components, pressure testing with nitrogen.

In Colombia there are three national domestic fridge producers: CHALLENGER, HACEB and MABE. The three producers have already converted their production lines to R-600a and the project is advising them on safety related aspects during production and servicing processes. Training technicians on how to handle the natural refrigerant R-600a during servicing is key to ensure that safety measures are being implemented and no incidents occur.
The training content will be used to develop a guideline on the safe use of R-600a in the domestic refrigeration sector in Colombia and to replicate the training in six major Colombian cities. These activities will ensure that all service technicians of the three national producers will be trained and, in the end, aware of the big advantages but also the flammability of R-600a.

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ODS Stakeholder Workshop in Tunisia

On February 20, 2020 the final stakeholder workshop to discuss the implementation of Tunisia’s ozone depleting substances (ODS) Banks roadmap took place in Tunis, Tunisia with more than 50 participants from the private and public sector.
The roadmap is a strategic action plan for ODS bank management and destruction activities. It provides status quo analyses of regulatory, financial, collection, recycling and destruction processes and provides recommendations on long- and short-term actions to be implemented to address ODS Banks. The overreaching goal is to reduce emissions from ODS Banks.

The aim of the stakeholder workshop was to exchange on the content of the roadmap and discuss responsibilities and measures needed to implement it. The workshop started by giving the participants a short introduction to the ODS banks project, the concepts of national roadmaps and Tunisia’s current refrigerant policy. Several discussion rounds on required policy measures related to the financial mechanism and the collection and destruction infrastructure to be implemented followed. During the workshop, announcements were made indicating Tunisia's imminent adherence to the Kigali Amendment and the inclusion of Tunisia's HFC reduction commitments in its updated NDC.

The stakeholder workshop was organized by the Proklima ODS Banks project along with the partners National Agency for Environmental Protection (ANPE), National Agency for Waste Management (ANGed) and National Agency for Energy Conservation (ANME).

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Recovering refrigerants properly

In November 2019, two degassing machines for a safer, more efficient and environmental friendlier waste management of old refrigerators were installed in Colombia.
The two degassing machines for the draining of oil and refrigerant from domestic refrigerators were donated to RED VERDE, which oversees the collection and management system of the main producers and importers of domestic refrigerators in Colombia. To guarantee the most efficient, safe and sustainable use of the equipment, two three-day sessions were carried out for the installation, commissioning and training in the operation of the equipment. In two allied waste management plants of RED VERDE, more than ten operators were trained by the equipment supplier, with the support of GIZ PROKLIMA, RED VERDE and the National Ozone Unit of Colombia (UTO).

These two machines are the first equipment of its kind to arrive in the country. Using these units, waste management companies can recover the refrigerant gas and oil contained in each refrigerator in a much more efficient and safe disassembly processes than before.

The donation of these equipment is made as part of the project “Management and destruction of substances that deplete the Ozone Layer existing in ODS banks”, of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Nuclear Safety (BMU), carried out by GIZ PROKLIMA and the UTO of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia.

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Technicians from Costa Rica and El Salvador are getting fit for hydrocarbons

Thirty-two refrigeration and air conditioning technicians benefited from two one-week trainings on the safe use of hydrocarbons in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector (refrigeration with R600a and R290 split ACs) at the Samuel Foundation in Costa Rica.
The trainings included theoretical and practical sessions, for example welding skills. They are part of a series of study tours and training activities organised by the GIZ projects C4 (BMU), SPODS (BMZ / UE), 4E (BMZ), in cooperation with the Directorate of Environmental Quality Management (DIGECA) of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) of Costa Rica, UNDP and the Samuel Foundation.

‘Cool Training’ is a series of international trainings on the safe use of natural refrigerants in the refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) sector. Launched in 2014, these trainings have since supported the worldwide promotion of sustainable cooling technologies by providing training on the safe handling of natural refrigerants.

A total of four Cool Trainings have already been held in Costa Rica between 2018 and 2019 (in total 64 trainers and technicians from 10 countries have been trained). In 2020, it is planned to carry out two additional trainings for another 32 coaches and technicians in the country. In addition, four technical training institutes in Costa Rica have been equipped with split type air conditioners with R290 refrigerant and refrigerators with R600a refrigerant, as well as tools and equipment. One hundred R290 split ACs were imported to Costa Rica for training and demonstration projects.

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Dig deeper

Cold Chains

From nature to table: a food story (VIDEO)

Watch here
Sustainable Cold Chains: Protection for a healthy life (VIDEO)

Watch here
Environmentally friendly cold storage for fish – an example from Kenya

Off-grid, high-efficiency cold storage can help secure the livelihood of fishermen. This brochure sheds light on different facets of the topic.

Safe food and medicine with uninterrupted cold chains - Lessons from the field

Along the cold chain, a wide variety of cooling technologies are used by shipping, warehousing and handling companies. Improving the cold chain has the potential to provide significant benefits in developing countries.


Winner of the GIZ Innovation Fund: emmunize is a digital tool that allows transporting vaccines without interruption of the cold chain due to a monitored temperature display within the cooling box.

Download | Website

Technology Transition

R290 Split Air Conditioning Resource Guide

This resource guide, published by GIZ Proklima and the German Environment Agency, closes knowledge gaps and informs about the factors that are deemed crucial for a successful market transition to energy-efficient R290 split ACs.

Climate-friendly cooling for the hotel industry in Sri Lanka 

This brochure analyzes refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) equipment and processes at the Jetwing Hotel Group in Sri Lanka. It then shows strategies for Jetwing to mitigate its greenhouse gasses.

SolarChill - Cooling with the power of the sun

Solar Direct Drive refrigerators run purely on solar power. They are a prime solution for remote and under-resourced areas. The SolarChill is not only preserving food and medicines, it is also environmentally friendly and economical to run.


Become a Member

Would you also like to become a member of the Green Cooling Initiative and play an active role in the dissemination of sustainable refrigerant technologies? Apply here!

GCI Newsletter Team

Julia Schabel (chief editor), Laura Aranguren, Philipp Denzinger, Amelie Dornoff, Hanna Dunke, Lara Falb, Miriam Frisch, Anusara Tanpitak, Carolina Maria Velez (editors)