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The IOR becomes a member of the Cool Coalition

As part of The Institute of Refrigeration (IOR)’s work to support the RACHP in moving towards net-zero it has recently joined the 'Cool Coalition' – a global initiative which supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement around cooling, with the aim of transitioning to efficient and climate-friendly cooling for all using a comprehensive approach.

Through the Cool Coalition, IOR will join leading international organisations such as the International Institute of Refrigeration, EPEE amongst Cool Coalition members to work together on strategies and technical solutions that reduced carbon emissions. The Coalition represents 23 countries and 47 international and civil society organisations, as well as businesses and universities. Find out more at https://coolcoalition.org/

The IOR’s work as part of its membership of the Coalition will be focused through its “Beyond Refrigeration” initiative (www.ior.org.uk/beyondrefrigeration). This identified seven critical areas and is preparing a template which provides a step-by-step approach to help end-users of all sizes to review where they are now and what they need to do to start making changes that will lead them towards net zero aspirations. It is hoped that this template will also provide a useful tool for discussions of manufacturers or suppliers with their customers, for the development of technical guidance by the IOR and for policymakers to help support our industry.

One of the first actions of the Beyond Refrigeration initiative was the IOR Annual Conference “Steps towards net zero” which took place on the 21 and 22 April. As well as some interesting keynotes that put this topic into context, it featured case studies and short courses to share what has been achieved so far in some of the critical areas and help work through some of the skills issues. If you missed the conference and want to have access to the session recordings including the topic-based debates see https://ior.org.uk/events/netzero.

The Beyond Refrigeration template will continue to be further refined in the coming months and the IOR is interested in engaging with other businesses and individuals to explore in more depth what tools and guidance end users will require to make progress in each of the seven areas.

Workshops will take place on 19 May you can register and find out more at https://bit.ly/3aa3pqW.

It is planned that the final template will be launched in June this year and be available for the COP meetings in the autumn.

The IOR’s commitment to supporting net zero objectives has been recognised internationally through its membership of the Cool Coalition – a UNEP-led initiative which supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement through action on cooling.

IOR President Mike Creamer commented: 'The Institute of Refrigeration brings together a huge number of technical experts, with the high-level knowledge and practical experience that will enable us to progressively address the global challenge of achieving Net Zero Heating and Cooling. We are committed to supporting all of those involved, including end-users, designers, consultants and the suppliers of heating and cooling technologies, to attain the best efficiency from existing equipment and simultaneously, achieving innovation through the application of new technologies. We are also developing guidance for the adoption of low carbon business management practices. Our alliance with the Cool Coalition and applying our 'Beyond Refrigeration – Journey to Net Zero' Template is a great step forward on our journey toward Net Zero.”

The seven critical areas to address climate change as part of Beyond Refrigeration are:

  • Balancing Heating and Cooling Demand: heating and cooling systems have until now been supplied as separate services. By integrated heating and cooling into one system, energy use could be reduced by half.
  • Using Energy Intelligently: to achieve net-zero we need to address the issue of where our energy comes and how we use it. Renewable energy that is both cheap and reliable should be the way forward.
  • Making Use of the Best Available Technology: in a rapidly developing and innovating marketplace, purchasers need reliable and authoritative guidance on what new technologies are available and where and how they can be used.
  • Reducing the Need for Mechanical Cooling: alternatives to cooling need to be considered as a first step – passive cooling, natural ventilation – all have a critical part to play in reducing carbon emissions from cooling processes.
  • Achieving Best System Performance: system performance in operation – not just component rating – is the critical factor for achieving efficiency and should incentivised.
  • Developing the Best People and Skills: a long-term industry driven strategy is needed to recruit, upskill and invest in the future of people in our sector.
  • Working Together: understanding the challenges of net-zero cooling is low. As experts we have a duty to work together across sectors, job roles and with policy makers to get our message across more clearly.

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