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Low Environmental Impact Refrigerants

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Low Environmental Impact Refrigerants

Working Toward Practical Application of Diversity of Next-Generation Refrigerants

The refrigerant conveys the heat between the indoor unit and the outdoor unit of air conditioners. Although HFC, currently the most widely used refrigerant in developed countries, has zero ozone depletion potential, it contributes to global warming if released into the atmosphere.

The Daikin Group aims to achieve practical use of next-generation refrigerants that contribute less to global warming than conventional refrigerants. In conducting research aimed at eventually launching products using such refrigerants, we focus not only on their direct effect on global warming but also on their effects throughout the lifecycle, including energy efficiency during air conditioner use. We make decisions based on all contributing factors: besides the environmental impact of the refrigerant itself, we look at safety factors such as flammability and toxicity, the cost and availability of the refrigerant, and the cost of producing air conditioners that use the refrigerant.

Daikin's View: Evaluation Index of Refrigerant Selection (common for all application)

Daikin's View: Evaluation Index of Refrigerant Selection (common for all application)

Choosing the Best Balanced Refrigerant for Each Application to Mitigate Environmental Impact

Different characteristics are required of refrigerants, depending on whether they are used in, for example, residential or commercial air conditioners, water and space heaters, or refrigeration equipment. That is why we have spent years conducting research that will enable the selection of refrigerant that is ideal for each application. We have so far conducted research on next-generation refrigerants such as natural refrigerants and HFC refrigerants, and have considered their application in products.

Using the knowledge we have built up, we are providing information worldwide at events such as international conferences, academic conferences, and exhibitions, as well as through research paper presentations, on the global warming impact of refrigerants and measures against it.

Example of Daikin’s Choice of Refrigerants

Example of Daikin’s Choice of Refrigerants

Note: Other refrigerants not listed above are also applied in products outside of Daikin’s portfolio, some examples include hydrocarbons (Isobutane, propane, etc.) for residential refrigerators and window air conditioners or HFO refrigerants for mobile air conditioners.


Protecting the Ozone Layer

Focusing on Converting to Alternative Refrigerants and Recovering Fluorocarbons

HCFCs used to be the most commonly used refrigerant, but in the 1980s experts suspected it was depleting the ozone layer, so under the Montreal Protocol developed nations agreed to phase out its production in developed countries by 2020. Daikin’s chemicals business has for years worked to mitigate ozone layer destruction by developing alternative refrigerants that do not deplete the ozone layer. In 1991 we began the first mass-production in Japan of HFC, a refrigerant with zero ozone depletion potential, and in 1995, under our air conditioner business we developed and began selling air conditioners that use HFC as the refrigerant.

Daikin’s Action on Refrigerant and Goals

Daikin’s Action on Refrigerant and Goals

Kigali Amendment

In October 2016, at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, members voted to phase down the CO2 equivalent total of HFCs, which, despite not harming the ozone layer, have a high GWP. With this, HFCs, which were covered by the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) but were not part of the Montreal Protocol, thus became part of the Montreal Protocol, due to the success of efforts to completely eliminate HCFCs. This decision is called the Kigali Amendment, after the Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, where the conference was held.

A major point of the Kigali Amendment is that it is not meant to phase out HFCs but rather phase down the production and consumption of HFCs based on their GWP value. The amount of HFC will not be restricted but rather phased down in terms of total GWP of HFC (weight of HFC in Kg x GWP value). By using lower GWP HFCs, it is possible to maintain or increase the use amount of HFC itself while reducing the overall global warming impact. In enacting the Kigali Amendment, the plan provides developed countries with a common phase-down schedule. The Amendment divides developing countries into two groups. Those groups are provided with different phase-down schedules.

Upon the introduction of new refrigerants, the Amendment requires an increase in efficiency of air conditioners in addition to a phasing down of HFCs in terms of total GWP. Daikin is pursuing the following measures in response to the Kigali Amendment.

  1. Daikin welcomes the Kigali Agreement for an HFC phase down in terms of CO2 equivalent under the Montreal Protocol.
  2. The main tenet of Daikin’s policy is “diversity of refrigerants.” And there is no ideal “one-size-fits-all” refrigerant solution for all applications, because many criteria need to be assessed, such as the ODP and GWP value of the refrigerant and safety, energy consumption, availability, affordability, resource efficiency, recyclability, recoverability and total global warming impact of the equipment.
  3. Daikin has identified HFC-32 as a very beneficial refrigerant for single and multi-split type air conditioners and heat pumps based upon the above criteria. Daikin believes that the transition to R32 will help to meet both the HFC phase down schedule and the HCFC phase out schedule. Daikin is now in the process of further study to identify a suitable refrigerant for other applications.
  4. To mitigate future global climate change, it is important to take a "Sooner the Better" approach. Early implementation is a key to the further reduction of future impact. As soon as the most balanced and feasible solution for an application is found, Daikin will commercialize and disseminate the technology to contribute to the efforts to mitigate global climate change.
  5. Also, while taking a “Sooner the Better” approach, as a refrigerant manufacturer, Daikin will continue to seek the “optimal refrigerant” for every type of application for further mitigation of global climate change.

Mitigate the Global Warming Impact

Promoting the Use of HFC-32, a Refrigerant with Lower Global Warming Potential

In November 2012, Daikin became the first company in the world to launch residential air conditioners using HFC-32 for the Japanese market; HFC-32 has just one-third the global warming potential of conventional R-410A (HFC) refrigerant. In March 2013, we released a residential air conditioner using HFC-32 in India. We are in the process of releasing these HFC-32 air conditioners in other countries and using HFC-32 for commercial air conditioners and water heaters as well.

To disseminate HFC-32 air conditioning, cooling and heat pump equipment globally, in September 2011 Daikin began offering companies worldwide 93 patents for developing and commercializing such products using HFC-32 single component refrigerant.

Daikin has sold more than 10 million HFC-32 air conditioners in 52 countries. It is estimated that, including the products of other companies, the worldwide HFC-32 air conditioner market exceeds 27 million units. (As of March 2017)

Countries where Daikin HFC-32 air conditioners are sold (as of March 2017)

Residential Air Conditioner Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, India, Singapore, New Zealand, 28 countries in Europe, the Ukraine, Russia, Norway, Montenegro, Albania, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sri Lanka, United States, Canada, Mexico
Commercial Air Conditioner
(certain models)
Japan, India, some European countries
Water Heaters
(certain models)

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