Momentum for Change: Climate Protection by Fair Recycling

Focus area: Mitigation
Location: Greater Sao Paolo Area, Brazil
Established: January 2009

We contribute to climate protection by recycling. Our pioneer activity in CabreĂşva, Brazil, recycles CFC containing refrigerators that otherwise would end up on waste dumps or car shredders where CFCs can escape unhindered into the atmosphere. Worldwide CFC banks contain 20 billion tons of CO2e! As the global warming potential of CFCs is up to 10'000 times higher than that of CO2, our activities represent an important contribution to climate protection in a sector that has tragically been ignored so far. The methodology we use for CFC neutralization was developed specifically to address the problem of lingering CFC banks in cooling appliances. Our state-of-the-art recycling plant is the first of its kind in Latin America.


Mitigation / Adaptation


Potential for scaling-up and replication

Our local implementing partner IndĂşstria Fox has been recycling refrigerators on a large scale since Q1 2011. They have recently hit the 1'000 refrigerators/day benchmark and have an annual capacity of approximately 400'000 recycled refrigerators. Each refrigerator accounts for about 1-1.5 tons CO2-equivalents.

In addition to the positive and urgent environmental impact of CFC neutralization, our activity contributes to resource preservation by recycling precious resources such as aluminum or copper contained in the cooling appliances. It also ensures that hazardous waste is properly disposed of, thereby protecting the local environment.

Emissions reductions are real, permanent, measurable and additional. They are periodically verified by an independent designated operational entity and emitted to the market through a registry. Verification reports and public entries on the registry web-platform serve as proof of the achieved emissions reductions.

Markit registry

Markit report: Recycling of Refrigerators, Freezers, and Metal-containing Foam Insulation Panels in the South-East of Brazil

Jobs, income and poverty alleviation:
The activity has created over 100 green job opportunities at the recycling plant and its reverse-logistics network. IndĂşstria Fox provides fair remuneration and offers continuous learning opportunities and capacity building programs for its employees. It also ensures that safety measures are applied and continuously monitored. By involving the waste collector cooperatives in its supply chain, IndĂşstria Fox contributes to improve the income and working conditions of over 1000 street collectors.

Access to energy and resources:
As explained above, the refrigerator exchange program benefits poor communities in the favelas by reducing pressure on their scarce household budgets and giving them access to new technology in the form of energy saving refrigerators.

Gender sensitivity:
As many jobs in the recycling industry and its logistics network involve tough physical work, it is not always possible to ensure a gender balance in the workforce. Wherever possible, women are engaged, though. The coordination of the refrigerator exchange program is, for example, headed very successfully by a woman. She manages the logistics team and monitors the financial aspects of the program.

With the successful implementation of our pioneer activity in CabreĂşva, Brazil, we have not only delivered proof of the validity of our business model, but have gained extensive practical experience in planning, implementing and monitoring of such activities. The pioneer activity has generated a lot of interest for replication and we are currently assessing the feasibility of replication within Brazil and in other countries (i.e. South Africa). We strive for real technology transfer by partnering with existing local structures and building up of local capacities where necessary. A recycling plant of similar scale as the one in CabreĂşva requires an investment of about 8-10 Mio Euro.