The Catalytic Coalition

A global movement to shape the future of responsible refrigerant management and destruction

The Catalytic Coalition helps companies to identify the refrigerants used within their facilities, specifically the CFCs and HCFCs that are potent greenhouse gases, and make sure that their climate commitments include responsible refrigerant management and end-of-life destruction.

Addressing large-scale refrigerant management

Increasingly, large organizations are calculating their emissions as a first step to taking long-term sustainability measures. But when making these calculations, those companies often overlook the vast amounts of high-GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants deployed in chillers and cooling systems throughout their facilities. As a result, many companies are stewards of these potent greenhouse gases, which are at risk of being released into the atmosphere - often without even realizing it.

Businesses that participate in the Catalytic Coalition gain strategic, customized, and cost-effective plans to transition their facilities’ refrigerant use to less-polluting alternatives.

How The Catalytic Coalition works:

1) Inventory Assessment

Tradewater helps participating businesses inventory the refrigerants under their control and then calculates the emissions associated with those refrigerants.

2) Strategy Design

Tradewater designs a strategy for participating businesses to convert cooling systems from those that use highly potent greenhouse gases to less-polluting alternatives. For the potent CFC and HCFCs, in particular, we prioritize strategies that orient toward the most responsible end of life solutions, namely destruction.

3) Catalyzing Change

Tradewater provides opportunities for participating businesses to bring awareness to the problem presented by refrigerant gases and to leverage their industry-leading efforts to catalyze broader commitment by encouraging others to join the effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to join the Catalytic Coalition?
Businesses in the Catalytic Coalition commit to making responsible refrigerant management and end-of-life destruction a central piece of their sustainability efforts. They work with Tradewater to complete an assessment of their refrigerant inventory, build a strategy to transition from harmful refrigerants to less-polluting alternatives, and to catalyzing change across the industry, shining a light on the threat posed by CFC and HCFC refrigerants.

What are the benefits of joining the Catalytic Coalition?
Businesses that join the Catalytic Coalition receive the tools and support they need to responsibly manage their refrigerants and be leaders in the fight against catastrophic climate change. These tools include a thorough refrigerant inventory, a customized strategic plan for conversion to less harmful refrigerant gases, and an avenue to catalyze change among climate-committed businesses.

Why should organizations address refrigerant gases?
Fluorinated refrigerants are some of the most harmful, potent greenhouse gases we must target in the climate fight. CFC-12 refrigerant (chemical name dichlorodifluoromethane, commonly known as Freon), alone, has 10,900 times the global warming potential as the same amount of carbon dioxide. A scientific review of climate change strategies, Project Drawdown, lists the control and elimination of fluorinated refrigerant gases as a top approach to reduce global warming.

You can learn more in our webinar with Greenbiz, where we were joined by Project Drawdown, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Intuit.


Does joining the Catalytic Coalition cost anything?
Tradewater customizes its approach for each company and develops a proposal that works best for their needs. The cost of this work varies depending on the size of the company, the number of facilities under management, and the goals the company sets out to achieve.

Is my company a good candidate to join the Catalytic Coalition?
If you own or control a portfolio of buildings or other facilities and are serious about fighting climate change, then you are a great candidate. Contact us for more details on the Catalytic Coalition and to learn how you can help be a leader in this important work.

Find out how your organization can be a leader in the fight against climate change through the Catalytic Coalition.


Emission reductions are considered permanent if they are not reversible. In some projects, such as forestry or soil preservation, carbon offset credits are issued based upon the volume of CO2 that will be sequestered over future decades—but human actions and natural processes such as forest fires, disease, and soil tillage can disrupt those projects. When that happens, the emission reductions claimed by the project are reversed.

The destruction of halocarbon does not carry this risk. All destruction activities in Tradewater’s projects are conducted pursuant to the Montreal Protocol , which requires “a destruction process” that “results in the permanent transformation, or decomposition of all or a significant portion of such substances.” Specifically, the destruction facilities Tradewater uses must meet or exceed the recommendations of the UN Technology & Economic Assessment Panel , which approves certain technologies to destroy halocarbons, including the requirement that the technology achieve a 99.99% or higher “destruction and removal efficiency.” Simply put, this means that Tradewater’s technologies ensure that over 99.99% of the chemicals are permanently destroyed. During the destruction process, a continuous emission monitoring system is used to ensure full destruction of the ODS collected.


Some carbon offset projects necessarily rely on estimations or assumptions when calculating the emission reductions from project activities. Forestry projects, where developers make assumptions about the carbon that will be sequestered over future decades if trees are conserved, are a perfect example. Such projects sometimes result in an overestimation of the environmental benefit of the project.

Tradewater’s halocarbon projects avoid the issue of overestimation by consistently conducting extremely precise testing and measurement of the amount of refrigerant destroyed in each project.

  • Every container of ODS that Tradewater destroys is weighed by a third-party using regularly calibrated scales. The ODS is then sampled by a third-party and analyzed by an accredited refrigerant laboratory to determine its species and purity. These two steps combine to ensure that credits are issued only for the precise volume and type of refrigerant destroyed.
  • The destruction facilities that Tradewater uses continuously monitor the incineration process during destruction events to ensure that over 99.99% of the ODS is destroyed. This monitoring is mandated by regulatory protocols and is part of the verification process to which projects are subjected.
  • Tradewater accounts for the project emissions created during the collection, transport, and destruction of ODS, and the number of offsets issued is reduced by a corresponding amount. The protocols that we use also build in other reductions to account for substitute chemicals that will be used to replace the destroyed refrigerants. Tradewater publishes this information in the documentation for all its ODS destruction projects. These documents outline how the material was obtained, the project emissions calculations, the test results, and the amount and type of ODS chemicals destroyed, among other information.
  • Additionality

    It is a basic requirement of all carbon offset projects that the underlying project activities are additional. “Additional” means that the projects would not happen in the absence of a carbon market. Tradewater’s halocarbon projects simply would not happen – and the gases would be left to escape into the atmosphere – without the sale of the resulting carbon offset credits. This is because there is no mandate to collect and destroy these gases. It is still permissible to buy, sell, and use halocarbons that were produced before the ban. There are other reasons halocarbon destruction projects are additional:

    • There are no incentives or financial mechanisms to encourage halocarbon destruction. According to the International Energy Agency and United Nations Environment Program, “there is rarely funding nor incentive” to recover and destroy ozone depleting substances in storage tanks and discarded equipment. And collecting, transporting, and destroying halocarbons is time-intensive and expensive. The burden to collect and destroy these gases therefore remains prohibitive outside of carbon offset markets—meaning that if organizations like Tradewater do not do this work, nobody else will.
    • Countries are not focused on the need to collect and destroy halocarbons. The Montreal Protocol has been celebrated as a success because of its production ban. This success, however, ignores the legacy gases produced before the ban and is a blind spot for government regulators. In the U.S., for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a Vintaging Model in the 1990s to estimate the quantify of ozone depleting substances left in circulation. Based on the inputs and assumptions put into the model, the EPA predicted that no CFCs would be available for recovery beyond 2020 in the United States. But this prediction did not prove accurate. Tradewater has collected and destroyed more than 1.5 million pounds of CFCs globally in recent years and continues to identify thousands of pounds per week.
    • International carbon accounting standards do not require corporations to measure or track emissions tied to halocarbons, and refrigerants are specifically excluded from Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) commitments. These commitments derive from emissions reporting under the GHG Protocol, which requires companies to report on emissions only from new generation refrigerants, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), but does not establish any obligation to report inventories or emissions of refrigerants still in use, such as CFCs and HCFCs. All these factors combine to make Tradewater’s carbon offset projects highly additional. As Giving Green, an initiative of IDinsight, concluded: “Tradewater would not exist without the offset market, so this element of additionality is clearly achieved.” The case for additionality is not so clear for some other project types, such as forestry and landfill gas carbon projects. For example, some forests are already being conserved for their beauty, or for use as parks, and generate carbon offset credits only because those conservation efforts do not yet have full formal protection in place to avoid deforestation in the future. Similarly, methane from landfills can be used to make electricity or captured as compressed natural gas, thereby creating additional revenue streams to support the activities, beyond the sale of carbon credits.