In a good example of how advocacy groups and major multinationals can work together to effect change, Coca-Cola, Unilever and McDonald’s have joined forces with Greenpeace and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to counteract global warming and ozone layer depletion resulting from commercial refrigeration.

Between them, the three companies operate 12 million coolers and freezers, and they have been working over the last four years to develop HFC-free refrigeration technologies that reduce the global warming impact of their commercial equipment, the companies said. HFC gases have been identified as a major contributor to global warming.

The companies showcased the new technologies at the Refrigerants, Naturally conference in Brussels this week. They include hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, Stirling, thermoacoustic and solar cooling technologies.

Greenpeace executive director Gerd Leipold applauded the companies’ action, calling on other enterprises to follow suit. He also challenged governments to get involved, as “corporate action is only half the picture”.