Meet the everyday Heroes

Every day, extraordinary people in the HFC value chain are fighting illegal trade. Discover their stories below.

Neil Everitt

Neil Everitt

Editor, Cooling Post

“As a journalist, I quickly realised that the refrigerants black market was an issue I could not and should not ignore. In my years investigating this topic, I found that the legitimate value chain is already doing what it needs to. It is those working outside of it who are bending the rules. The #SayNoToIllegalHFCs campaign has a lot of potential to pool these efforts and prove to authorities that there is real concern across European industry, that the black market is harming real people and businesses. I hope it urges authorities to crack down on the issue in all affected countries and properly police existing laws.”

After almost 40 years as a journalist covering the global air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump industry, Neil founded the Cooling Post in 2013 and quickly established it as a leading, independent voice on the refrigeration industry. The Cooling Post is not only an important source of information on the black market for HFCs in Europe – Neil has through his active investigative journalism contributed to shutting down illegal operations across the EU.

Neil took early notice of the increasing illegal trade in refrigerants. Those affected by the black market, such as refrigerant suppliers, started coming to Neil with stories which fed his reporting. At first, it was fishy emails and text messages offering illegally traded refrigerants. Then, the activity moved to online marketplaces. While many such marketplaces have successfully cracked down on this activity, Neil worries that criminals are always a step ahead of the legitimate industry and enforcement authorities.

Recently, Neil uncovered connections between a company based in Latvia that was selling refrigerant products in breach of the F-gas regulation and a well-known Chinese refrigerant manufacturer. This coverage led the Chinese manufacturer to publicly distance themselves from the Latvian company and ask them to stop using their brand in conjunction with the illegal activity.

Neil’s tireless work in investigating the illegal trade flow among end users and seller platforms has been instrumental in drawing attention to and building understanding of the black market. Neil’s reporting proves the vast, detrimental impact of the black market on European people and businesses. He also shows us that any individual can join the good fight and make an impact.

What can Citizens do?

Raise awareness about this issue

Ask local shops and garages if they are using legal refrigerants

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