In these days, on the social channels of some Italian manufacturers of heat and cold tecnologies, a document addressed to Italian and European Politics can be spotted. In this document which refers to the F-gas Regulation that is now taking shape, the signatory companies emphasize the need for political action and underline some priorities. These priorities build both on the common interest of Civil Society and the Environment of a prompt action, ensuring the use of efficient and sustainable technologies and the particular interest of the Italian cooling and heating economy, which aim to compete with global players that are focussing more and more their innovative strength on sustainable technologies.
The priorities on which the document calls for political action are, in a nutshell, the following ones:
- the promotion of refrigeration, air conditioning, heating and heat pump technologies based on natural refrigerants;
- the definition of a national decarbonisation plan for refrigeration and heating, converting the oldest and most impactful systems with more sustainable and climate-friendly systems;
- the extension of the use of natural refrigerants to mobile refrigeration sector;
- the strengthening of the fight against the illegal trade in high GWP synthetic refrigerants;
- the scale up of the training of technicians and operators in the sector to be able to work also with natural refrigerants.
The Italian companies that are advancing these instances are part of the Unione del Caldo e del Freddo Green (Union of Green Heating and Cooling – UCFG), a working group that spontaneously came into being in November 2021 during the Refrigera trade fair in Bologna. The group started with eight initial companies and now counts 14 members and others are in the process of joining. These are Italian companies across the whole value chain, known globally for the quality of their products and for the strong innovative drive they are now concentrating on highly efficient solutions with natural refrigerants.
“Supporting the instances of these companies also means supporting a key economic sector for Italy, recognized at European and world level” says Marco Mancini, spokesperson for Legambiente, the association leading the Working Group. “These are not companies that import and resell goods produced elsewhere, but companies that produce in Italy and here have their human and intellectual capital, so every euro invested by these companies creates added value first of all in Italy, and then in Europe, in terms of jobs, technological development and skills improvement. This is the message we want to communicate to all Italian and European politicians, some of whose representatives have already been presented with our requests. Among them: Mr. Lancini, shadow rapporteur of the F-gas regulation, whom we met in a dedicated meeting, and all the European and Italian parliamentarians directly related to the revision of the F-gas regulation”.
Among these instances, as mentioned above, there is a national plan for the training of technicians and operators in the sector, which is recognized as a real bottleneck to the expansion of technologies with natural refrigerants, especially now where the demand for such technologies is increasing. Training is a topic we also find in the recent document “Manifesto per la Meccanica 2023” presented by ANIMA Confindustria – association representing and promoting the Italian mechanical engineering industry – which contains five proposals to get the mechanical engineering sector back on track. These include the ‘valorisation and professionalization of the human factor that gives value to our sector‘.
The importance of the Italian HVAC&R sector was also evident at the recent Chillventa trade fair: out of 844 exhibitors from all over the world, Italy was among the TOP FIVE. And not for the first time. The total export value of the mechanical engineering sector, to which the refrigeration and heating divisions belong, is 30.9 billion euro this year. But it is not just a question of numbers. It is the innovative drive that makes these companies global leaders and that makes their products and solutions recognized as quality standards worldwide.
The integral document and the list of the Union Companies is available HERE