SCM Frigo

ATMOsphere Reapproves Natural Refrigerants Label for SCM Frigo

The ATMO Approved label is a global gold standard highlighting best-in-class manufacturers and contractors of natural refrigerant systems and components.

ATMOsphere, a global market accelerator of clean cooling and heating solutions and publisher of, has reapproved the ATMO Approved Natural Refrigerants Label for SCM Frigo, an Italian CO2 (R744) system manufacturer.

ATMOsphere initially approved SCM Frigo for the label in February 2023.

ATMOsphere (formerly shecco) launched the label in June 2022 as a global gold standard highlighting best-in-class manufacturers of natural refrigerant systems and components around the world. Labels were also approved in 2023 for M&M Carnot, Zudek, MIRAI Intex, Novum and Temprite. In 2024, GTS, Nihon Netsugen Systems, Refra and Zero-C have been approved, Fenagy has been reapproved, and Secon, Güntner, TEKO, M&M Carnot and Zudek have been reapproved for the second time.

In November 2023, ATMOsphere opened label registration for 2024 with a new category for contractors and installers who accelerate the adoption of natural refrigerant-based cooling and heating solutions. To date, contractors Equans Kältetechnik, SURE Solutions and General Refrigeration have been approved for the label.

“SCM Frigo is pleased to be reapproved by ATMOsphere as a ‘best-in-class natural refrigerants company’ because we feel the responsibility to help the industry to reduce the impact of global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Nicola Pignatelli, CEO of SCM Frigo. “So we are glad to be recognized by a serious entity as a virtuous company in that sense.”

The ATMOsphere label is designed to help qualified manufacturers to market products to new customers and regions in the natural refrigerants marketplace, including products using CO2 (R744) and ammonia (R717). In addition, the label is meant to help end users identify best-in-class suppliers.

Once approved, companies can place the ATMOsphere Natural Refrigerant Label in a myriad of places, such as directly on products, marketing material, email signatures, company pitches and trade show booths.

“The label will be very visible in the global marketplace, and companies can take advantage of this to strengthen their brand,” noted Marc Chasserot, ATMOsphere’s Founder and CEO.

“By being global and multi-application, this label can help to create trust across the new applications and regions,” added Chasserot. “We want to use this multi-year label process to help move the market to cleaner solutions with natural refrigerant solutions over time.”

Based in Sant’Angelo di Piove di Sacco, Italy, SCM Frigo was established in 1979 and since 2011 has been part of Swedish HVAC&R wholesaler Beijer Ref. Since 2004, the company has worked to develop technologies that use natural gases as refrigerants, with a focus on the production of CO2 refrigeration systems.

SCM Frigo designs and manufactures a range of CO2 systems for sale worldwide, including commercial and industrial racks, condensing units, chillers, subcritical packs and cascade systems. In 2021, SCM Frigo began operations at a new 13,000m2 (139,931ft2) eco-friendly headquarters/manufacturing facility in Sant’Angelo di Piove di Sacco, filling the growing demand for transcritical CO2 systems in Europe.

“Sustainability [has driven] our technical choices since the early 2000s,” said Pignatelli. “We design and manufacture systems with natural refrigerants in facilities that use renewable energy, limiting all possible waste.”

Three pillars

To qualify for an ATMOsphere label, manufacturers have to demonstrate excellence across three pillars:

1) company vision;

2) customer satisfaction (measured via testimonials from multiple end users confirming the reliability, performance and service of these companies and products); and

3) measurable impact.

Michel Cuvelie, Operations Director for Belgian refrigeration contractor Airclima, complimented SCM Frigo’s transcritical CO2 cooling unit. He said that for both reliability and performance, the system is “exactly as promised,” adding, “The expected performance and rigidness is according to expectations.” Reflecting Airclima’s satisfaction with the unit, Cuvelie noted that “we’re realizing more projects as we speak.”

 New criteria

The 2024 label also includes training criteria for the first time for new applications and renewals. “We want to recognize a proactive approach to training customers, partners, employees and suppliers to ensure we not only have the best-in-class equipment but the best-in-class installation and maintenance of these systems,” Chasserot said.

Another 2024 label criterion centers around per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as trifluoroacetic acid (TFA).

Recent research found significant levels of TFA – formed by the atmospheric breakdown of certain HFO and HFC refrigerants – in dust, drinking water and human blood in a study of households in Indiana (U.S.). The study characterized TFA as being part of the PFAS chemical family. TFA and TFE (another PFAS linked to HFOs) have pathways to forming HFC-23, a super potent greenhouse gas (GWP 14,600).

“The 2024 label criteria around PFAS acknowledges what companies are doing to ensure they are PFAS-free,” Chasserot said.

“ATMO Approved companies have the vision and leadership required to navigate the market today and help [companies] move away from PFAS and global-warming synthetic alternatives,” an ATMOsphere video says.

Additional new benefits added to the 2024 ATMO label include:

  • an annual report for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investors;
  • end-user tours at major trade shows to meet approved companies;
  • exclusive webinar targeting end users, consultants and contractors; and
  • end-user case studies, showcasing best practices.

ATMOsphere has been active in the natural refrigerant space for nearly 20 years. During this time, the company has:

  • published dozens of natural refrigerant-related market reports on market players, technologies and solutions worldwide across multiple applications;
  • hosted over 60 international natural refrigerant conferences, bringing together thousands of experts and hundreds of speakers over nearly 15 years, covering all the latest trends and players;
  • written thousands of articles reporting on natural refrigerant companies and products in the industry; and
  • sent representatives to hundreds of trade shows around the world, meeting with natural refrigerant experts face-to-face (in addition to countless individual meetings outside official events).

“We feel that, as an independent player with a global mindset and a global presence across all natural refrigerants and multiple applications, we are very well suited to provide this level of approval for the label,” explained Chasserot.

“SCM Frigo is pleased to be reapproved by ATMOsphere as a ‘best-in-class natural refrigerants company’ because we feel the responsibility to help the industry to reduce the impact of global greenhouse gas emissions.”

Nicola Pignatelli, CEO of SCM Frigo


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