The WRD objective is to generate awareness of cooling’s essential benefits, how cooling impacts daily life, and how technology choices foster the environmental well-being of future generations.
World Refrigeration Day (WRD) is celebrated on, and around, June 26 each year through various activities and programmes.
“Cooling is at the very heart of modern life. It enables people to live and work comfortably, it saves lives, it enables people to achieve. The need for cooling is everywhere, it touches lives in fantastic, though often unnoticed ways. However we look at it, cooling matters”, says Steve Gill, founder of World Refrigeration Day.
According to the WRD secretariat, despite policies, standards and codes related to the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry, there is still significant lack of public understanding of cooling’s importance even though issues like refrigerant transition, emissions reduction, and maximising energy efficiency have been addressed for decades by governments due to global policies and binding international frameworks.
Partnering groups for previous World Refrigeration Day campaigns have described how the day has served as a platform to educate the public about cooling’s benefits. Past campaigns have targeted refrigerant choices that protect the ozone layer, using the cold chain to distribute food, medicines and vaccines, and promoting “cool careers”.
Together, these partnering groups represent half a million engineers and technicians, more than a thousand suppliers of equipment services, and about 200 governmental bodies and agencies: United Nations Environment Program OzonAction, ASHRAE, European Partnership for Energy and the Environment, Federation of Ibero-American Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associations, Global Food Cold Chain Council, International Institute of Refrigeration, Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, and Union of Associations of African Actors in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. They are among some hundred national and international associations that are World Refrigeration Day allies.
“The public can make choices that minimise environmental impacts when they select, operate and maintain cooling equipment,” Gill explained.
According to the International Energy Agency, the average efficiency of air conditioners sold today is less than half of what is typically available on the shelves – and one third of best available technology. Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual global CO2 emissions. Of those total emissions, building operations are responsible for 28% annually, while building materials and construction are responsible for an additional 11% annually.
“How RAC systems are maintained and operated is one of the most important actions the world can take to address climate change,” said Rajan Rajendran representing ASHRAE’s Refrigeration Committee and the Global Food Cold Chain Council.
The challenge will only become greater. “Half of the buildings that will still be standing in 2060 have not yet been built,” said Ayman Eltalouny, representing UNEP OzonAction. There are 3.6 billion cooling units in use today. By 2050, that number is expected to be 9.5 billion. “If left unchecked, emissions from cooling appliances are expected to double by 2030. They will triple by 2100 driven by heat waves, population growth, urbanisation and a growing middle class. Moving to best available cooling technologies would reduce cumulative emissions by 38 gigatons of CO2 emissions by 2030. This would avoid future greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 2018 levels.”
Why the focus on buildings may be a simple question to answer for some, the figures illustrate it best:
The equivalent of Paris is added in floorspace to the globe every 5 days. Buildings therefore hold a significant savings opportunity.
The built sector offers the most cost-effective mitigation potential of any of the sectors and co-benefits include job creation, improved quality, improved climate resilience and adaptive capacity.
And there is also the increasing need for food. “Due to population growth, the world will need 60% more food by 2050. The unfortunate reality is much of the world’s food supply is still lost due to waste,” said Rajendran. “Increasing refrigeration in emerging economies is required to meet this growing demand. Some 475 million tons of food currently lost could be saved by wider application of refrigeration. We must communicate to the public that there is value to cooling if we hope to have policies in place which encourage use of low carbon emitting refrigeration and air conditioning.”
Says Gill, “Cooling Matters aims to tell the story of how our wellbeing depends upon cooling and how cooling technology choices can safeguard the well-being of future generations. We encourage the whole refrigeration and air-conditioning industry to join us in celebrating World Refrigeration Day 2022.
Join the global community conversation using the hashtags #coolingmatters and #WREFD22.
About World Refrigeration Day (WRD)
World Refrigeration Day is an independent organisation formed in 2019 to raise awareness of the RACHP sector. Its primary focus is an awareness day. It is independent of all industry membership and trade associations/societies. It is widely supported and respected for both for its aims and its independence. This wide support makes it ideal to bring together different associations from around the world that may resist similar initiatives if led by one or a small group of associations.
What have you got planned for this year’s World Refrigeration Day? We would love to hear from you or you can tag us in your social media posts @ColdLinkAfrica.