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  • Writer's pictureSteve Jackson

Natural Refrigerants and the Future of Green Industrial Refrigeration

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

PermaCold Engineering, Inc., an award-winning industrial refrigeration design-build firm, has seen tremendous success over the past 25 years, but is taking a sharp turn in a new direction as it looks ahead to its next quarter-century as a company. The firm is committed to disrupting the industry and changing the way the entire country thinks about the approach to commercial refrigeration design – one focused on sustainability, environmental safety, and ultra-high energy efficiency.

As it neared its 25th year, the company strategically analyzed industry trends and the (negative) environmental impact of the common engineering industry approach toward refrigeration system design. Company leadership not only saw an opportunity to build more planet-friendly systems, but it believes it has identified a massive business opportunity with a strategy to change the entire industry’s engineering mindset. The company intends to disrupt the industry while also educating and convincing its customers that ‘green refrigeration’ is not just the right thing to do, it is a cost-winner. This new engineering approach offers potential customers massive long term savings through reduced energy costs and resource needs such as water and sewage. PermaCold’s higher-efficiency systems also reduce the need for maintenance, lowering those costs and increasing worker safety as an added bonus.

PermaCold put this strategy into action and adopted a formal company commitment to environmentally progressive engineered solutions. The firm’s new company slogan is “Our Planet, Our Responsibility” and it is pursuing new technical approaches, components, and strategic vendor partnerships to develop its green refrigeration solution. Placing the environmental impact of industrial refrigeration systems as a central concern in the engineering design is not common practice, and PermaCold intends to lead its industry in this area. Company goals include serving as a thought leader and advocate for progressive designs and environmental responsibility in the refrigeration field. Thought-leader articles are being written for leading publications as well as speaking engagements for company leaders, affiliations and partnerships with organizations promoting this approach, and more.

“PermaCold has been moving in this direction for some time, and we decided to make it an official company focus,” said PermaCold President and co-founder Steve Jackson. “We have the expertise to be able to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint and other environmental impacts of the refrigeration systems we build, and we’re passionate about doing just that. It’s more than just saving energy and money for our customers, it’s about saving the planet for our grandchildren.” Jackson noted the recent spate of climate-related natural disasters has helped bring the public’s attention to the need for business as a whole to make energy efficiency (reducing greenhouse emissions as a direct result) a priority, as well as seeking out natural, non-toxic options for industrial applications.

With the 25th anniversary of the firm coinciding with a radically new (and industry-leading) approach for the company’s business strategy and sales approach, Jackson felt this made it the perfect time to publicly announce PermaCold’s new direction and to ramp up efforts to publicize it and begin shifting the industry’s mindset.

In addition to optimizing engineering refrigeration systems for maximum efficiency, the company is pursuing a range of initiatives involving more environmentally sound refrigeration systems, including:

· Developing systems requiring lower amounts of traditional refrigerants to operate and pursuing the use of non-toxic refrigerant solutions such as CO2.

· Optimizing industrial refrigeration capacity to reduce the size, energy needs, and materials required (including water, insulation and sewage waste).

· Engineering refrigeration in conjunction with modern LED lighting systems, vastly reducing “load shedding” of heat that directly impacts refrigeration system efficiency.

PermaCold is confident that the focus on sustainability will not only make a positive impact on the planet, it will produce long-term sales benefits and growth for the company. “There is an irreversible movement in business toward sustainability, and we intend to be on the forefront of that,” stated Jackson. “We hope to not only take advantage of that business opportunity but to do good for the planet by encouraging and accelerating the trend in our particular field.”



About the author:

Steve Jackson is co-founder and President of PermaCold Engineering, Inc. an award-winning industrial refrigeration engineering and installation firm founded in 1993 in Portland, OR. PermaCold is recognized for its expertise in designing highly efficient, natural refrigerant systems for optimum performance, dependability and value. The company also provides preventative maintenance and repairs, retrofitting services, consulting on efficiency and regulatory compliance, and more. PermaCold focuses on engineering energy-efficient, environmentally safe systems and is an industry leader in green industrial refrigeration.

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