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Walmart, EPA Among Speakers at ATMO America

Jim McClendon of Walmart Stores will address the shortage of refrigerant-grade CO2 while Cindy Newberg of the EPA will provide an update on the U.S. Aim Act.


 BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (April 18, 2023) – Jim McClendon, Director of Engineering at Walmart Stores, and Cindy Newberg, Director of the Stratospheric Protection Division at the Office of Atmospheric Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are among the speakers confirmed for the ATMOsphere (ATMO) America Summit 2023 on natural refrigerant-based HVAC&R

This 12th annual edition of the conference will be held Monday, June 12, and Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Washington, D.C., at the Renaissance Downtown. The event, addressing applications of natural refrigerants CO2 (R744), hydrocarbons and ammonia (R717), is organized by ATMOsphere, a market accelerator of natural refrigerant-based cooling and heating systems.

You can register for the event here and find the preliminary program and other information on the event website.  End users can register for free, and contractors/installers of HVAC&R systems are eligible to receive one free ticket per organization, with a 50% discount on additional tickets.

McClendon will participate in a session, “Solving the CO2 Shortage,” that will examine the shortage of refrigerant-grade CO2, which threatens to slow the U.S. transition away from high GWP HFC refrigerants. Other panelists will include a retail end user, a service contractor and a CO2 expert. The session will be led by Danielle Wright, Executive Director of the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC), an environmental nonprofit working to advance climate-friendly natural refrigerants.

“As retailer demand for CO2 technologies grows, [the CO2 shortage] issue has the potential to become the single largest inhibitor to full scale deployment,” said NASRC.

In a session on policy, Newberg will provide an update on the EPA’s implementation of the U.S. AIM (American Innovation and Manufacturing) Act, which includes a phase down of HFCs, a ban on new uses of HFCs, and new rules on the management of HFCs. She will focus on the bans, also known as the technology transition part of the AIM Act.

Other policy speakers will include Christina Starr, Senior Manager with the Climate Campaign at the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA); and Keith Dennis, President, Beneficial Electrification League. Starr will discuss developments in charge standards for hydrocarbon refrigerants used in commercial display cabinets, air-conditioning and heat pumps. Dennis will explain how to obtain subsidies for heat pump installations from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Another panel will examine the links between f-gases and PFAS, which are the “forever chemicals” polluting the environment. Panelists will include Robert Sussman Principal, Sussman & Associates, and former Deputy Administrator, EPA; Heidi Pickard, PFAS Researcher and Doctoral Student, Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and business consultant Tom Camp, CEO, AHR Edge.

Speakers from Bank of America, Ernst & Young

Other speakers confirmed for the event include:

  • Kathy Loftus, Vice President of Strategic Construction Projects, Energy and Facility Services for Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA
  • Abhijit Bhide Managing Director at Bank of America
  • Rob Bradley, Managing Director, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, Ernst & Young
  • Ben Churchill Chief Strategy Officer at CoolPlanet
  • Andy Baker, Owner and Project Manager, YourCleanEnergy (on heat pump market trends)
  • End Users Panel: Francisco Picazo, Project Manager, Grupo Bimbo; Carl Klemp, HVAC/R Engineer, Kwik Trip; and John DeCicco Jr., President of DeCicco Family Markets.
  • Contractors Panel: Ady Vyas, Vice President, Sales & Operations, Neelands Group; Mark Stencel, Director of Refrigeration Product Solutions,  Bassett Mechanical; Jeff Buxton, Refrigeration Engineer, JH Kelly (Portland Mechanical Contractors); and Brian McMillan, Director of Preconstruction, InterCool USA

There will also be case study presentations on commercial and industrial refrigeration and heat pumps and a session on refrigeration market trends. In addition, ATMO Awards will be presented to a retailer and an industrial end user, and attendees will vote on three products to receive Innovation of the Year awards. A Person of the Year will also be named.

ATMO America will gather key industry experts, including manufacturers, policy makers, end users and contractors, to learn about the latest developments in natural refrigerant-based HVAC&R systems. Last year’s ATMO America conference was held in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.

The Platinum sponsor of ATMO America 2023 is Hillphoenix. Gold sponsors are M&M CarnotKysor Warren and Emerson. Information on sponsorships can be found here.

Presentations from last year’s ATMO America can be found here.

About ATMOsphere

For the past 20 years, market accelerator ATMOsphere (formerly shecco) has been active in helping bring climate-friendly technologies faster to market. ATMOsphere supports over 100 partners worldwide in the HVAC&R sector, where the focus is on sustainable refrigeration, heating & cooling technologies using natural refrigerants.


Marc Chasserot


Charlotte Darniche


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