Refrigeration is a crucial part of modern life: It keeps our meat fresh, our vegetables crunchy and our sodas cold. Our love of chilled produce has an environmental cost, however.
Fridges and freezers all over the world contain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Greenpeace has described HFCs as "highly potent greenhouse gases" that "contribute significantly to climate change."
"In established countries, 70-80 percent of your food gets to your home in a refrigerated cold chain, where 95 percent of homes have refrigeration," Tony Atti, the CEO of Phononic, told CNBC's Sustainable Energy. He went on to state that this required "a great requirement of electricity" and had an impact on the environment.
In October, almost 200 countries agreed to a "landmark deal" to cut emissions from HFCs. The United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, said the deal could help "prevent up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of the century."
"That legislation, or at least agreement to that legislation, is staggering," Atti said.