Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) joined the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as well as other industry trade associations and professional bodies from around the globe, in supporting World Refrigeration Day.

The event, which takes place on June 26, aims to raise awareness and understanding of the significant role that refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat-pump (RACHP) technology plays in modern living and society.

“Refrigeration is an important component of a safe and healthy society,” said Stephen Yurek, president and CEO, AHRI. “From keeping medicines and food supplies safe to enabling a ready supply of fresh food choices regardless of geography, refrigeration is an often unheralded and yet vital technology for the modern world.  America’s commercial refrigeration manufacturers join the world’s citizens in celebrating World Refrigeration Day.”

Associations and societies from the U.S., India, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Africa, and across Europe have all indicated their support, with RACHP and HVACR organizations and professionals around the world expected to undertake a range of activities.

The AHRI announcement follows the personal crusade of well-known industry figure Stephen Gill for over a decade. Although he admits that the idea of an industry day may not be new, the gaining of a consensus for a fixed date from organizations and individuals from around the world certainly is.

“Refrigeration has such a long and fascinating history full of inventors, engineering pioneers, scientists, and industrial entrepreneurs from around the world, all of whom deserve to be recognized and remembered for their valuable contribution,” Gill said. “With such a long and rich history, agreeing upon a date has proven to be challenging even at a national level, let alone an international one. However, the industry is united in its desire to raise its profile to the general public for all the right reasons, and so we were able to build solidarity upon many common goals and finally agree on a date. 

“Refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump technologies and applications have evolved out of a human need for food, comfort, and thermal processes, with a history dating back centuries,” Gill added. “However, it remains a longstanding frustration for those working within the industry that it is not widely recognized that modern life could not exist without it, nor is there any appreciation by wider society for the skills and knowledge employed on a daily basis by industry professionals.”

In February, UNEP and OzonAction announced their partnership with World Refrigeration Day to promote the celebration through the National Ozone Units in 147 developing economies.

“We fully commend the idea of World Refrigeration Day for its creative novelty and its contribution to bringing attention to the refrigeration and air conditioning industry and its involvement in our daily life,” said Ayman Eltalouny, OzonAction’s coordinator of international partnerships. “UNEP OzonAction is very interested in cooperating with international partners and is delighted to see that World Refrigeration Day is endorsed by many heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration associations around the globe, which will help to further promote it across developing countries.”

June 26 will be the inaugural day, but it is planned to be the first of an annual event. Indeed, discussions are already under way to make 2020 a week-long celebration.

The aim of this first year has always been to get it launched and to start the process of raising awareness of the diversity in the industry. Hence the theme for the inaugural World Refrigeration Day is diversity in terms of applications, systems, technology, locations, people and careers, etc. 

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Publication date: 3/27/2019

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