Raul Corredera Haener (48), Senior Director of Manufacturing and Operations at Systemair Group, has been the Eurovent President since his election at the association’s 2021 General Assembly. He has been involved in many Eurovent activities over the years leading up to his current role.
As Eurovent President, he holds a number of responsibilities: he is currently also the Vice-Chairman of COPILOT and PRODBIM Boards, and a Supervisory Board member of Eurovent Certita Certification. Recently, the Eurovent Team interviewed Corredera Haener about his role as Eurovent President, where he discussed trending regulatory issues across the European Union (EU), Eurovent’s ongoing and future international collaborations, and highlights of the upcoming Eurovent Summit in Antalya.
the Eurovent Team interviewed Corredera Haener about his role as Eurovent President, where he discussed trending regulatory issues across the European Union (EU), Eurovent’s ongoing and future international collaborations, and highlights of the upcoming Eurovent Summit in Antalya.
1.Whom does Eurovent represent, and what are the association’s main objectives?
Raul Corredera Haener (RCH): Eurovent represents the European Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration industry. It is currently home to 16 national industry associations from different European countries, 93 direct Corresponding Members (manufacturers) and 7 Associate Members (other stakeholders from the HVACR industry). The majority of manufacturers under the Eurovent umbrella are small and medium-sized enterprises.
As an association, we focus on connecting our industry and representing its unified voice towards the European authorities and beyond, while providing support and guidance to all members, regardless of their size or turnover. Eurovent’s members come from close to 30 countries, and there is something special about sitting around one table with your competitors and discussing common goals as colleagues. Essentially, we are all advocating for and guided by the same principles, which is, levelling the playing field and breaking down trade barriers while making sure that innovation supports our strict standards for energy efficiency, indoor air quality and digitalisation.
Our discussions and activities aim to address growing environmental challenges such as global warming, climate change, indoor and outdoor pollution, emissions that contaminate the atmosphere, food safety and water shortages. Eurovent and its members are committed to meeting these environmental challenges and innovating while contributing to green thinking throughout all sectors of the HVACR industry, given the sector’s essential role in tackling broader sustainability challenges in which, as we realise, this sector plays a role.
2.It has been nearly 1,5 years of you leading Eurovent. How do you manage the Presidency role at the major European HVACR industry association while also attending to your daily tasks as Senior Director at Systemair?
RCH: The role of the President comes with many responsibilities. One of our crucial tasks is to ensure that we are fulfilling our long-term strategy and lead the required activities by coordinating the differing points of view of the association’s stakeholders, making sure that our decisions are favourable to the association as a whole. To that end, I have to make sure that all Board and General Assembly meetings are conducted efficiently and smoothly, and that we follow up appropriately to achieve the goals we set.
We have an extremely competent and multifunctional team at Eurovent and its subsidiaries, very motivated, with initiative and eager to take responsibility, with an enthusiastic and very engaged management team. I have to thank them, my colleagues in the Board, and many other dedicated persons in our working groups. We cannot forget the dedication and support of all those who voluntarily walk an extra mile to drive the activities of the association. I also need to thank Systemair, for its trust in me and allowing me to dedicate the required time to Eurovent. My secret to combining both functions is to maintain good teamwork, a very structured way of working, the right focus, planning, and ensuring follow up across the activities.
3.Since becoming President, which issues have you observed having gained most importance in the eyes of the association?
RCH: One of our core visions, which has always been a priority for Eurovent and has only gained in relevance the past years, is to put health and wellbeing at the centre of the built environment. Quite frankly, most of the public was unaware of the importance of quality ventilation systems within their residential and working spaces before the COVID-19 pandemic. Although understanding of the importance of good indoor air quality is increasing, we still have a lot to do to raise awareness of the role of our industry and the sustainable and effective solutions it offers in this respect. We have notably been advocating for strengthened Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) provisions in the revised Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD), including harmonised and enforceable minimum IEQ requirements and mandatory disclosure of IEQ ratings to building occupants. The EPBD is a cornerstone of building sustainability and Eurovent will continue its efforts to help IEQ make its way into EU-wide legislation.
The drive towards ever more sustainable products is another big topic within the association. The next generation of sustainable product requirements will move beyond energy use and will regulate all environmental impacts of products, including to make them more durable, reparable, recyclable, and energy and resource efficient. The well-established Ecodesign framework for energy-related products is currently under revision – to be replaced by a wider, more comprehensive Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR). We recognise that a more holistic approach to product sustainability will be essential to meet climate and environmental objectives, and we think the Ecodesign instrument would be the right tool for that purpose.
Ecodesign is, by and large, an EU policy success story. Setting sustainability requirements and disclosing environmental performance data for products must be done in a proportional and harmonised way across the EU, to ensure the free movement of products within the Single Market, to keep the compliance burden low, to stimulate innovation, and to preserve the competitiveness of European industry. We are also looking to ensure that the European Green Deal policies fully deliver on the promises held by our industry for decarbonisation. Eurovent is strongly involved in the current revisions of European legislation aimed at boosting renewable heating and cooling and phasing out fossil fuels.
Another important issue we have been focussing on is international trade and the competitiveness of European manufacturers on global markets. While Europe is continuously streamlining policies between the different Member States and overcoming existing national barriers to create a true Single Market, the industry should also be aware of what is happening in other countries and regions of the world. What originally started with one regional chapter – Eurovent Middle East – has developed into a comprehensive and coordinated international effort to create a level-playing field and the highest efficiency and sustainability standards all over the globe.
In line with our focus on international trade, we are hosting our 2022 Eurovent Summit in Türkiye. The main goal of the event is to act as a bridge between different industry stakeholders and geographical regions. I will reveal more about the event and its details shortly.
4.Can you elaborate on the services Eurovent offers and how they benefit the industry and society?
RCH: Eurovent is a broad organisation fully committed to serving the industry and its stakeholders. We add value and promote our industry’s interests in various ways, including through advocacy and representation, product performance certification, market data collection, and more.
The association’s role is to unify the European HVACR industry and support manufacturers in the EU regulatory landcape, by representing their voice in front of the authorities, and supporting them in the interpretation and application of relevant EU legislation. The association also facilitates pre-normative research and develops recommendations, which provide codes of good practice for particular issues in the absence of clear standards or legislation. Finally, it is also involved in education and awareness-raising initiatives to promote our industry and the sustainable and effective solutions it offers.
As I have already mentioned, Eurovent runs an independent chapter Eurovent Middle East (EME), home to the region’s leading manufacturers and other stakeholders active in the field of HVACR. EME plays a vital role in developing regional regulations and standards and projecting Eurovent principles in the region.
Our certification department has also seen widespread market recognition. In fact, 66% of the HVACR market is Eurovent certified. ‘Eurovent Certified Performance’ is a worldwide leading certification scheme for over 40 different HVACR products. This third-party voluntary certification was set up in 1990s and has meanwhile become essential in ensuring the level-playing field, as it certifies, through various tests and audits, that the catalogue values given by a manufacturer match the actual performance of the product line. To ensure the impartiality necessary for the certification accreditation, Eurovent Certita Certification (ECC) operates independently from the Eurovent association. Being a member of the association is not a prerequisite to be certified and vice-versa.
Eurovent Market Intelligence (EMI) is the leading statistics office for the HVACR market in Europe, Middle East and Africa, providing key market data since 1994. The guiding principle of this Eurovent department is to establish a detailed map of markets with the direct participation of the manufacturers. I’m proud to say that EMI data collections have tripled their overall number of participants in the last 6 years. Today, they reach more than 400 manufacturers in the EMEA region within 18 different programmes.
The Eurovent world also offers building quality and performance certification through its unit COPILOT. It provides independent ISO 17065 accredited certification of due diligence to technical systems and building commissioning. Its mission is to create certification solutions that improve the building industry. To complete the 360° approach, our unit PRODBIM offers a unified European solution to the many formats that coexist within BIM today. It delivers an online database which presents manufacturers’ product data within a standardised framework usable for different BIM environments, as well as frequently used database systems and building codes indifferent countries.
5.Why are you hosting this year’s Eurovent Summit in Türkiye and what do you look forward to at the event?
RCH: The Eurovent Summit is a biennial event hosted in different regions of Europe in relatively medium-sized cities that not everyone might be thoroughly familiar with. For this year’s edition, we decided to host it in Antalya, Türkiye, the home country of one of our Member Associations, ISKID, a Turkish Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Manufacturer’s Association.
One of the main reasons we selected Türkiye is because this edition’s theme #BuildingBridges, focuses on connecting manufacturers and consultants, planners, installers, trade associations and policymakers, between Europe, the East and beyond. We would like to expand our relations with organisations and associations in the HVACR sector not only in Europe but beyond the European borders, and Türkiye is an ideal starting point. The country’s geolocation and networks established by ISKID provides us with the opportunity to connect with other stakeholders in the region.
In the spirit of collaboration and Eurovent’s efforts to strengthen its global footprint, one of our goals as a European association is to place further focus on international partnerships. Last year, we reinforced our cooperation with multiple international strategic partners, such as ABRAVA, the CoolCoalition and FAIAR. In addition, this year’s Eurovent Summit is supported by many international partners of Eurovent, highlighting the importance of Türkiye as a bridge between different parts of the world. The supporters include several Turkish associations and international organisations such as ACAIRE, AIRAH, or the Chinese Association of Refrigeration.
6.What are the notable highlights and key speakers of the Eurovent Summit this year?
RCH: This year’s Eurovent Summit offers a rich parallel programme complementing the wide selection of meetings of the different Eurovent units. While it is a must for participants of any Eurovent initiatives to attend the event, we ensure to include seminars and flagship events focusing on particular topics to provide added value to different stakeholders in the HVACR industry.
Highlights of the event include the Eurovent Innovation/HUB focused on building bridges between innovation and sustainability, a high-level policy panel presenting visions for the future of product efficiency from different stakeholders, a special honorary event ‘Legends of Eurovent’, a fireside chat on the future of industry exhibitions in the post-pandemic world, and a parallel seminar programme organised by ISKID and TTMD with simultaneous translation in English and Turkish.
As far as the speakers go, this year’s Summit participants can look forward to many high-level representatives of different industry stakeholders, such as manufacturers, laboratories, service providers, policymakers, or association representatives. Examples include Rene Kemna (VHK), Dustin Steward (UL Solutions), Alex Rohweder (J2 Innovations), Frank Grundholm (ABB), Filip Konieczny (FLOWAIR), Federico Munoz Sanchez (CEIS), Herman Hacaduryan (REFKAR), Francesco Scuderi and Markus Lattner (Eurovent), and Sylvain Courtey (Eurovent Certita Certification).
In addition, spouses and friends of the Summit participants are welcome to attend as well. They are offered a high-quality programme on two days of the Summit with a special spouse pass. While the participants join technical meetings and seminars, they can discover the magic of Antalya.
7.Do you have any final comments you would like to share with our reader?
I would like to cordially invite everyone to join us for the 2022 Eurovent Summit in Antalya which is scheduled to take place on 25-28 October in Antalya. All details and registration can be found at www.eurovent-summit.eu.
The Eurovent Summit is a non-profit event with comparatively low ticket prices that only aim to cover part of the costs. The remaining amount is provided by our sponsors.