While global policy and regulation (such as the Montreal Protocol and the Kyoto Protocol, etc.) continue to advance proposals to address climate change by phasing down production and use of HFCs, individual countries and local governments are moving forward with innovative solutions.
For example, in Malaysia, the Green Building Index (GBI) has initiated significant measures to heighten the awareness of the environmental impacts of the options available for clean agent fire suppression and, in particular, the climate impacts of HFC-227ea and HFC-125.
The GBI (according to its latest edition) is an “… environmental rating system for builders … for evaluating the environmental design and performance of Malaysian buildings …”
As such, the GBI Index, under its “Materials & Resources (MR)” section, has issued the following criteria regarding the use of fire suppression agents:
Use environmentally-friendly Refrigerants and Clean Agents exceeding Malaysia’s commitment to the Montreal & Kyoto protocols:
Use zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) products: non-CFC and non-HCFC refrigerants AND fire suppression clean agents;
Use … fire suppression clean agents with zero ODP and negligible Global Warming Potential (GWP) less than or equal to 10.
It is now widely recognized that sustainable fire suppression technologies are available to replace HFCs in fire suppression. The Malaysian government is taking the lead in recognizing the availability of that technology and encouraging its use.