Solutions to reduce ODS and HFC banks

Climate-damaging emissions from ODS and HFC banks can be reduced through sustainable refrigerant management. This starts with the proper maintenance of cooling appliances in the first place to avoid leakages during operation. Refrigerants contained in end-of-life cooling appliances need to be properly recovered. Then they can either be reclaimed or destroyed, both practices require skilled workforce and special machinery.

  • Reclamation means processing recovered refrigerant to new product specifications (see AHRI standard 700 and 740) and verifying that new product specifications are met by analysing the refrigerant. This is required when refrigerants have been extracted from different systems
  • Destruction of refrigerants means the decomposition of CFC, HCFC and HFC refrigerants, typically through thermal processing. More information about different thermal destruction technologies can be found here.

While the international community has agreed to regulate the production and consumption of ODS by the Montreal Protocol (1987) and to phase-down HFCs with its Kigali Amendment (2016), no agreements have been made regarding the destruction of the ODS and HFCs already produced. For countries of the Global South in particular, the collection, reclamation and destruction of waste containing ODS and HFCs present challenges as they generally lack the appropriate political and regulatory framework and infrastructure.


The core processes of ODS and HFC bank management will establish:

  • a suitable set of policy measures (i.e. laws and regulations, but also fiscal and other non-regulatory measures)
  • a sustainable financing mechanism
  • an effective collection mechanism
  • a functioning reclamation and destruction infrastructure.


Generally, these processes are embedded in a larger framework or steering process such as the low emission development strategy (LEDS) or other national climate and energy plans. Important accompanying processes (support processes) include: 

  • the compilation of an ODS bank inventory
  • the establishment of a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system
  • capacity building (e.g. technician training to properly recover ODS and HFC from equipment)


Publication series on ODS Banks management

For more information please refer to the publication series on the management and destruction of existing ozone depleting substances banks, which includes a global roadmap and country-level estimate for ODS banks as well as guidelines on ODS bank inventories, policy measures, establishing a collection system for ODS banks equipment and transboundary movement of ODS waste.

This paper aims to assess the climate impact of the existing ODS bank based on a country-level estimate and illustrates the magnitude of potential emission savings achieved by suitable measures to collect and destroy ODS banks. The results of this analysis together with the lessons learned from the other project activities are used to develop international guidance on ODS bank management.

This is the second version of this paper, published after the completion of an external peer review.

2018_Global_banks_of_ozone_depleting_substances.pdf (

This global roadmap provides information on key processes in this sector and gives guidance to policy-makers, e.g. national ozone officers and policy-makers from the waste sector, on developing strategies for successful management of ozone depleting substances (ODS) banks. Furhtermore, the paper presents a decision tree to assist in taking the right decisions concerning ODS bank management.



This guideline is intended for inventory compilers involved in quantifying the amount of ozone depleting substances (ODS) banks in their country and, based on this, quantifying the mitigation potential. A sound understanding of ODS banks on the country level is the basis for any action and policy decisions in the field of ODS bank management

This step-by-step guideline presents two pragmatic approaches for assessing current ODS banks as a basis for future forecasts, reduction targets and policy actions:

Equipment approach and

- Chemical consumption approach.


New Guideline available!

This guideline is an update of the first guideline to reflect all requirements stated by decision 91/66 of the Executive Committee to the Multilateral Fund (MLF) for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol on the provision of a funding window for an inventory of banks of used or unwanted controlled substances and a plan for their treatment.


Creating a suitable, country-specific policy framework is essential for any ODS management scheme to be successful. This guideline presents a range of measures (regulatory, fiscal and non-regulatory measures) that can prevent the accumulation of and emissions from ODS banks. The guideline also shows a way to choose the appropriate option or a bundle of possible options tailored to conditions within the country and depending on the targeted sector or government objective.


This guideline focuses on the collection of ODS containing equipment. It provides practical guidance for national ozone officers (NOO), policy makers from the waste sector and other stakeholders. As decommissioned ODS containing equipment is classified as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), this guideline’s recommendations are valid for the collection of WEEE in general. However, this guideline also includes specific aspects related to ODS.



As hazardous substances, ODS wastes fall under the Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal. This guideline was developed for National Ozone Units (NOUs) considering the export of ODS for destruction as part of their ODS management. The guideline links the topics of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer with the Basel Convention and provides practical information on how to conduct transboundary movements (TBMs) of ODS waste.




The present paper focuses on one aspect of ODS Banks management: The destruction of ODS through thermal processes.

2020-ods-thermal-destruction.pdf (

This study investigates the currently applied assumptions of global CFC banks models and compares it with data collected in specific countries.

2020_ODS_CFC11_CFC12-banks.pdf (