During the year 2022, the cold sector must continue to evolve along three main lines: sustainability, digitization and the full integration of women in the workforce. These lines of work are aligned with the objectives included in the European Great Green Deal and in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which, in turn, have been made their own by the Spanish Government. For AEFYT, Association of Refrigeration Companies and their Technologies, the refrigeration sector is at a unique moment to be an important actor in the change of economic paradigm that society demands.
“The year 2022 is very important in terms of economic and environmental sustainability. The cold sector is carrying out a very serious and consistent reflection to address a future in which it must be a main actor to contribute to the decarbonisation and digitalisation of the productive system in line with the great European and Spanish objectives. An important step will be the Refrigenia 4.0 MdI, which we hope can begin to be implemented this year and have a positive impact for all ”, said Susana Rodríguez, President of AEFYT.
The main lines of action on which the cold value chain is working are defined below.
- Sustainability: With an increase in the price of refrigerant gases between 30 and 60 percent and serious difficulties in finding the necessary materials for the execution and maintenance of installations, refrigeration companies look further to take advantage of this crisis and accelerate the migration process towards gases with lower PCA, as well as improving control systems and optimizing the operation of facilities. Likewise, it is necessary to make investment plans aimed at integrating solutions that minimize energy expenditure. The cold sector can contribute to the decarbonisation of the Spanish economy because it affects more than 40% of the production system.
- Digitization: The unique opportunity of the European recovery funds (Next.Generation) is reflected in the Manifestation of Interest presented by AEFYT with the collaboration of other organizations called Refrigenia 4.0, which aims to support digitization and energy efficiency (both concepts often go together) in refrigeration facilities in the dairy, meat, perishable, wine and oil subsectors. The cold sector is a fundamental partner in promoting the modernization of one of the most important industries in Spain, such as the food industry. At the same time, private investment does not stop and is reflected in initiatives such as the promotion of Artificial Intelligence in training and maintenance tasks.
- Integration of women in the workforce: Through training and social recognition, during 2022 AEFYT will continue to give visibility to the work of women in all links of the cold value chain and in very different functions , both management and administrative as well as technical. The objective of this work is to attract talent to achieve gender balance in the cold sector and ensure a generational renewal characterized by mixed teams that encompass different skills and abilities.