GTS, a hydrocarbon gas manufacturer based in Genova, Italy, has received the ATMO Approved Natural Refrigerants Label from ATMOsphere, a global market accelerator of clean cooling and heating solutions and publisher of Hydrocarbons21.com.

ATMOsphere (formerly shecco) launched the label in June 2022 as a global gold standard highlighting best-in-class manufacturers of natural refrigerant systems and components around the world. Recipients in 2023 included Fenagy, SCM Frigo, Güntner, Secon, M&M Carnot, Zudek, TEKO, MIRAI Intex, Novum and Temprite

Last November, ATMOsphere opened label registration for 2024 with a new category for contractors and installers who accelerate the adoption of natural refrigerant-based cooling and heating solutions. In December SURE Solutions, a U.K.-based industrial refrigeration contractor, became the first contractor to receive the ATMO Approved label. The current label application period closes on January 31, 2024; it is renewed annually. Registration for the 2024 label can be found here, along with additional information.

“We are so proud to be ATMO approved by ATMOsphere, with whom we share intentions and principles, thus strengthening our customer image and market potential,” said Paolo Zunino, CEO of GTS. “Selecting suppliers based on shared green commitment helps to give greater strength to the products or services supplied, making the efforts made by your company in environmental terms more effective.”

The ATMO approved label “is rapidly gaining recognition as a hallmark in the sector,” added Zunino. “By aligning with this label, GTS is making a strategic move to spearhead the natural refrigerants market. GTS aims to position itself as the premier choice for manufacturers committed to enhancing efficiency and quality while mitigating their Scope 3 emissions. This alignment signifies GTS’s aspiration to be at the forefront of industry standards, setting a benchmark for excellence in the realm of natural refrigerants.”

GTS produces more than 25,000 metric tons per year of natural refrigerant Polarpure-branded gases with a purity of up to 99.99%, including propane (R290), isobutane (R600a), n-butane (R600), propylene (R1270) and propane and propylene mixtures (R433A, R433B and R433C). Its distillation plant in Arquà Polesine, northeastern Italy, uses R290 heat pumps and is powered by a 1MW solar plant, thereby reducing Scope 3 CO2e emissions.

GTS serves different sectors such as the refrigeration, food, construction and aerosol industries and many other fields. The company has five branches in Italy, Belgium, Romania, Brazil and Thailand and is able to supply its products all over the world in its own trucks, isotanks and cylinders to avoid contamination and assure top quality.

The ATMOsphere label is designed to help qualified manufacturers and contractors to market products to new customers and regions in the natural refrigerant marketplace, including products using CO2 (R744), hydrocarbons and ammonia (R717). In addition, the label is meant to help end users to identify best-in-class suppliers and contractors.

Once approved, companies can place the ATMOsphere Natural Refrigerant Label in a myriad of places, such as directly on products, marketing material, email signatures, company pitches and trade show booths.

“The label will be very visible in the global marketplace, and companies can take advantage of this to strengthen their brand,” noted Marc Chasserot, Founder and CEO of ATMOsphere.

“By being global and multi-application, this label can help to create trust across the new applications and regions,” added Chasserot. “We want to use this multi-year label process to help move the market to cleaner solutions with natural refrigerant solutions over time.”

Three pillars

To qualify for an ATMOsphere label, manufacturers and contractors have to demonstrate excellence across three pillars:

1) company vision;

2) customer satisfaction (measured via testimonials from multiple customers confirming the reliability, performance and service of these companies and products); and

3) measurable impact.

Commenting on his company’s three-year relationship with GTS, Piotr Idzikowski, Director of Refrigeration Technology for Bałtykgaz, a Polish gas distributor, said the quality of GTS’s R290 and R600a refrigerants with 99.5% purity “has never deviated from the declared standards.” Moreover, deliveries “have always been timely, [and] vehicles and tanks have correctly marked the amounts of refrigerants” and “in accordance with all safety standards.”

Overall, “GTS has proven to be a good and reliable partner,” said Idzikowski. “I would definitely recommend GTS as a reliable supplier.”

New criteria

The 2024 label will also include training criteria for the first time for new applications and renewals. “We want to recognize a proactive approach to training customers, partners, employees and suppliers to ensure we not only have the best-in-class equipment, but the best-in-class installation and maintenance of these systems,” Chasserot said.

Another 2024 label criterion centers around per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as trifluoroacetic acid (TFA).

Recent research found significant levels of TFA – linked to the atmospheric breakdown of certain HFO and HFC refrigerants – in dust, drinking water and human blood in a study of households in Indiana (U.S.). The study characterized TFA as being part of the PFAS chemical family.

“The 2024 label criteria around PFAS acknowledges what companies are doing to ensure they are PFAS-free,” Chasserot said.

“ATMO-approved companies have the vision and leadership required to navigate the market today and help [companies] move away from PFAS and global-warming synthetic alternatives,” an ATMOsphere YouTube video says.

Additional new benefits added to the 2024 ATMO label include:

  • an annual report for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investors;
  • end-user tours at major trade shows to meet approved companies;
  • exclusive webinar targeting end users, consultants and contractors; and
  • end-user case studies, showcasing best practices.

ATMOsphere has been active in the natural refrigerant space for nearly 20 years. During this time, the company has:

  • published dozens of natural refrigerant-related market reports on market players, technologies and solutions worldwide across multiple applications;
  • hosted over 60 international natural refrigerant conferences, bringing together thousands of experts and hundreds of speakers over nearly 15 years, covering all the latest trends and players;
  • written thousands of articles reporting on natural refrigerant companies and products in the industry; and
  • sent representatives to hundreds of trade shows around the world, meeting with natural refrigerant experts face-to-face (in addition to countless individual meetings outside official events).

“We feel that, as an independent player with a global mindset and a global presence, across all natural refrigerants and multiple applications, we are very well-suited to provide this level of approval for the label,” explained Chasserot.

“We are so proud to be ATMO approved by ATMOsphere, with whom we share intentions and principles, thus strengthening our customer image and market potential.”

Paolo Zunino, CEO of GTS