World Day of Engineering for Sustainable Development, what can we do starting tomorrow?

4 March 2021. At this point, only a very few may be surprised by the need to promote a change in the development and consumption model we are immersed in as a species due to the enormous impact that our activity is generating on the world. If we do not wish to deplete our planet’s natural resources and turn it into a practically uninhabitable place in a short time, it is important to take action as soon as possible. Therefore, faced with the challenge of efficiency and sustainability at a global level, defining what changes we need to address is no longer as important as defining what changes we need to address. Instead, it becomes particularly relevant to be able to answer the questions: how fast can we address these changes, and at what cost?

The industrial sector is particularly sensitive to these changes as it is part of the problem in the first place. So, to begin with, companies in the sector should be encouraged to become part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. For that reason, during this week when we celebrate the World Day of Engineering for Sustainable Development and the World Energy Efficiency Day, it is time to take stock of the progress made and define the next steps to be taken.

At AKO, we have been part of the ‘Climate Action’ commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations for a long time, and we have also recently joined the European Green Deal, which sets forth a path to turn Europe into the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Our company’s strategy is to ‘define a sustainable and comprehensive growth model to boost the economy, improve people’s health and quality of life, take care of nature, and leave no one behind.’

In this context of profound changes, we have gone in for offering a unique and differential value proposal in our sector. At a time when virtually the entire cooling industry is proposing the renovation of cooling systems based on HFC gases to replace them with new systems based on the so-called ‘natural gases’ (ammonia, CO2 and hydrocarbons), we have focused on providing a wide range of products and solutions, which are easy to implement, offer short investment returns, and also enable us to convert existing cooling systems into much more efficient and sustainable systems, minimising their environmental impact and extending their life cycle.

Our solutions for efficient control and regulation, early leak detection and health safety provide a clear and immediate answer to the question: What can we do starting tomorrow? Because it is by doing small things that can be added up, that we can solve the problem to, ultimately, make the world a better place to live.