Cooling champions: leave a legacy

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Published: 16 June 2021


With World Refrigeration Day just around the corner, founder Steve Gill explains why it is essential to leave a legacy of attracting new people into the RACHP industry. 

Who researches how food can be preserved from its source to the table and how vaccines and medicines are shipped worldwide? Who enables data centres to function? How can climate change be stabilised while not sacrificing modern convenience? Who safely manages the processes that will allow air to be cooled? Who considers the problem of how the quality of indoor air be improved and disease transmission prevented? 

Putting a face to this hidden industry
The people, ‘cooling champions’, and the careers that make modern life possible will take centre stage for this year’s World Refrigeration Day. The aim is to put a face and human story to our industry and what we do as an introduction to lifting the lid on our hidden industry.  

It is estimated that over 15 million of us work within refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump sectors worldwide.  I have been told that we are a small industry in which everyone knows everyone else, and at times it certainly does feel like that, but 15 million is a considerable number. Even with my extensive network, I can’t claim to know even a fraction of these people. Who are they, where are they, and what do they do? 

One of the aims of this year’s campaign is to put a face, or as many faces as we can, to these ‘cooling champions’ by inviting everyone to submit their story to us via the WRD website. How many will we reach? A hundred, a thousand, a million? It will be interesting to see this community, won’t it? 

Change the message to suit the audience 

As hopefully you will know by now, World Refrigeration Day aims to raise awareness and understanding to the public of the significant role that the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump industry and its technology play in modern life and society. To do this, we must change the language that we are using to suit the intended audience. This, for many, is a challenge.

How do you explain to a child or young person what we do? Do we praise the complexity but hidden beauty of a psychrometric chart?  Do we talk about the chemical composition and performance benefits of different refrigerants? If you do, I can guess the reaction. We need to adjust what we say to make it accessible to these young people and their influencers – parents and teachers – to understand. Like many other things in life, this becomes easier to do if we know how, and in that lies the problem. We, as an industry, complain on the one hand that there are not enough people entering our industry. Still, on the other hand, we do not equip ourselves with the verbal and language tools to enable us to reach out to them in a way that is applying to them.

This problem of communication style and content is not restricted to the UK. It is a global issue faced by our industry colleagues around the world. World Refrigeration Day has brought together the international community to seek to address these issues and share successes. If you have suggestions or materials that work already, please share them with us, or please consider what we can do and share your suggestions. Together we can create a library of resources for all to use not just on June 26 but all year round.

World Refrigeration Fortnight! 
This year, June 26 – World Refrigeration Day – falls on a Saturday. This allows us to extend the celebrations to one week on either side of that weekend so that we have two weeks to spread events across. The initial WRD in 2019 was an immediate success, with physical events taking place in at least 153 countries around the world. Since then, the world has changed due to the pandemic, with last year’s occasion being mainly virtual. This year will probably be a mix but still predominantly an online affair. Spreading WRD across two weeks will help avoid the online congestion of everyone cramming their events into the same day.

If you are planning an event, physical or virtual, do let us know. WRD is your day – show your face and join the global community telling the world what we do. 

World Refrigeration Day