The National Hockey League (NHL) and The Chemours Company, a global chemistry company with leading positions in Titanium Technologies, Thermal & SpecialiSed Solutions, Advanced Performance Materials and Chemical Solutions, announced today their multiyear renewal of a partnership that started in 2018 and continues to provide education, technical support, innovation and sustainable solutions with Opteon™ refrigerants to support the NHL’s commitment to ensuring all levels of hockey thrive for future generations. In addition, the partnership will expand beyond ice rinks and into the classroom via support of Chemours’ middle school partnership program to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals, while fostering values core to both organisations, such as integrity, respect, courage, teamwork, perseverance, and acceptance.
With this partnership renewal, both organisations are building on the strong foundation of successful outreach to community and professional ice rinks alike, providing environmentally and economically sustainable refrigerant solutions to an aging rink infrastructure across North America that has historically been heavily dependent on ozone depleting or high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants such as HCFC-22 and HFC blend R-507.
In the initial term of the partnership and through collaboration with mechanical contractors, design engineers and equipment manufacturers, approximately 200 community, university and professional rinks, including The SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks® in California, and Ball Arena, home of the Colorado Avalanche®, have successfully transitioned to Opteon™ refrigerants. This collaborative approach between the NHL and Chemours has encouraged taking a more holistic view of rink and facilities management that goes beyond a simple comparison of refrigerant fluids and encompasses total system emissions and life cycle costs of facility operations.
The extension of the term of the partnership comes at a critical time, when U.S. regulatory changes require the phase-out of the production and import of high GWP refrigerants, such as HCFC-22, as part of the passage of the AIM Act. Now, more than ever, community rink owners and operators need to be well informed on changing environmental regulations, and consider several factors when selecting refrigerants and refrigeration systems to create the perfect sheet of ice, including equipment age, installation cost, ongoing maintenance cost, safety, performance and energy efficiency of a new system.
The partnership furthers the NHL’s commitment to address barriers to the sport through environmental, financial and social sustainability in the community rink infrastructure. The NHL’s environmental sustainability platform – NHL Green – continues to promote accessibility and sustainability throughout hockey, particularly as the League is focused on growing the game across North America and by providing broader exposure of the game to more diverse audiences and players of all ages and demographics at the grassroots level.