Undoubtedly, refrigeration has become an essential part of our lives. It helps us preserve food, maintain comfort in our homes and workplaces, and ensure the preservation of medicines and vaccines. Recognizing the importance of this technology in our current society, World Refrigeration Day (WRD) is celebrated annually on June 26th, with the aim of raising awareness about its relevance and promoting its sustainable development.

Origin of World Refrigeration Day

World Refrigeration Day is an international awareness campaign established by the Secretariat of World Refrigeration Day. The purpose of instituting this celebration is to highlight the work and advancements in the refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump sector. It also focuses on the role that this industry and its technology play in modern life and society.

It is worth noting that World Refrigeration Day was the idea of refrigeration consultant Stephen Gill, former president of the Institute of Refrigeration in the United Kingdom. The inaugural edition took place on June 26th, 2019, under the theme “Refrigerants for Life,” and was an immediate success. On the same day, over 800 physical events related to the topic were held in 153 countries worldwide. For this first experience, the initiative already had the support of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and received collaboration from the United Nations Environment Programme.

In 2020, the theme of the second edition was “Cold Chain 4 Life,” which celebrated the importance of the refrigerated cold chain in preserving life. This theme was particularly relevant during the COVID-19 health crisis, highlighting the essential role of the cold chain in vaccine preservation.

The campaign for World Refrigeration Day 2021 focused on the professions in the refrigeration sector. In fact, its slogan was “Cooling Champions: Cool Careers for a Better World.” In 2022, the campaign slogan was “Cooling Matters,” with the intention of raising public awareness about the essential benefits of cooling.

Why is World Refrigeration Day special this year?

As mentioned before, refrigeration has revolutionized our way of life in the aforementioned aspects. It also plays a vital role in sectors such as agriculture, industry, and technology, driving economic development and improving the quality of life for millions of people worldwide.

However, as we face global challenges such as climate change and the need to reduce our environmental footprint, it is imperative that refrigeration advances towards more sustainable solutions. This year, under the theme “Next-Generation Refrigeration: The Future is in Our Hands,” World Refrigeration Day invites us to reflect on how we can drive innovation and adopt environmentally friendly practices in this field.

From this perspective, next-generation refrigeration will be a determining factor in reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions. On our increasingly warmer and humid planet, the use of refrigeration and HVAC systems is growing exponentially. According to the International Energy Agency, air conditioners currently consume around 20% of the total electricity in buildings worldwide. Furthermore, their usage is expected to continue increasing over the next three decades.

Other critical measures

On the other hand, conventional refrigeration often involves the use of refrigerant gases that not only have a high potential for ozone depletion but also have a significant impact on global warming. In order to ensure a sustainable future, it is essential that we seek more environmentally friendly alternatives. Therefore, transitioning to refrigerants with low environmental impact is a priority in next-generation refrigeration. These include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with low global warming potential or natural refrigerants such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrocarbons (HC).

Parallelly, promoting energy efficiency in refrigeration systems is crucial. Optimizing equipment and adopting advanced technologies can reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It is also important to encourage the design of buildings and spaces that incorporate passive design principles, such as natural ventilation and proper orientation, to enhance the performance of the units.

Actions stemming from the celebration of World Refrigeration Day

World Refrigeration Day is an opportunity to celebrate advancements in the field of refrigeration and raise awareness about the importance of adopting sustainable practices in this area. Considering the above, it is essential to reflect on the actions we can take as individuals, communities, and businesses to ensure a future of more efficient refrigeration that is compatible with the preservation of the planet. Some of these actions can include:

Promoting education and training

Awareness is the first step towards change. It is crucial to educate people about the benefits and challenges of sustainable refrigeration. Similarly, it is essential to train professionals in the installation, maintenance, and design of efficient refrigeration systems. Educational programs and training initiatives can play a key role in disseminating best practices in this field.

Encouraging policies and regulations

Governments and international organizations undoubtedly play a crucial role in promoting sustainable refrigeration. It is essential to strengthen and update existing policies and regulations to encourage the transition to refrigerants with low environmental impact, as well as promoting energy efficiency in refrigeration systems. A significant advancement in this regard is the establishment of efficiency standards and labels to help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing refrigeration equipment.

Incentivizing research and innovation

Research and innovation play a crucial role in advancing next-generation refrigeration. Collaboration between governments, businesses, and scientists is essential to drive the development of sustainable technologies and solutions. From the development of more efficient refrigeration systems to the implementation of smart solutions that optimize energy use, innovation in this field has the potential to transform how we interact with refrigeration.

In this regard, it is necessary to invest in research that drives the development of more efficient technologies and solutions while minimizing their environmental impact. At the same time, economic incentives and grants can encourage companies to develop and adopt innovative technologies in refrigeration systems.

Adopting sustainable practices in the industry

Companies play a vital role in transitioning to more sustainable refrigeration. They can implement measures such as regular maintenance of refrigeration equipment, optimization of energy management systems, and reduction of refrigerant leaks. Likewise, companies can seek suppliers committed to sustainability and work in collaboration with them to promote such initiatives.

Promoting responsible consumption

As consumers, we also have an important role in promoting sustainable refrigeration. We can opt for high-energy-efficient appliances and engage in responsible use practices. For example, adjusting the temperatures of refrigeration equipment as needed and avoiding the obstruction of ventilation grilles. Small daily actions can make a big difference in terms of energy efficiency and reducing environmental impact.

At Intersam, we celebrate World Refrigeration Day

Since 1995, Intersam has been designing and developing customized refrigeration and air conditioning systems for the industry and commerce. Our focus is on employing advanced technology and refrigerants with very low environmental impact in the units we manufacture. In this way, we ensure effective performance with a high level of energy efficiency. An example of this is our evaporative air cooling systems. Major companies in Spain and abroad recognize the quality of our refrigeration and HVAC equipment and projects. Because of all this, we join in the celebration of World Refrigeration Day as an organization committed to the values and goals of this initiative.

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