Duván Chaverra, EditorDuván Chaverra,


Reading the press reports in recent months I have been amazed with the strength that is taking sustainability as a business strategy. I was surprised that basically thought a couple of years this was part of speech of a few industries, including HVAC / R does; Today, concern about the deterioration of the planet has made virtually all industries adopt good sustainability practices and brandish the flag as a business strategy.

Currently public relations have a major impact on the way we do business. The press releases daily published the world's newspapers on major environmental initiatives have no aim to generate a good image of X or Y company in the minds of consumers, to foster a better willingness to buy against those companies that undertake these campaigns pro rescue the planet.

Now, do not forget that sustainability, in addition to the impact on the image of companies, is also a way to obtain significant savings, that the hand of the conservation of non-renewable resources in organizations, but also the use of recyclable materials in the construction of buildings and other properties.

Unfortunately, companies that are dedicated to offering services in this area have not had great financial support, but this trend is changing. Mexico, in early 2007, was among the first countries in the region at the opening of an office dedicated to promoting green business. Called New Ventures, the company began a business acceleration in order to encourage those companies that meet these environmental challenges and help create in this country a culture of responsible production.

And so there is no doubt the relevance of these issues today, from 2007 a company like Mexican multinational Bimbo initiated a program to auto supplies of wind power, this in order to meet the energy demand involves producing foods low fat; the figures are impressive: Economic America says that the giant of bread has fallen over the last seven years the consumption of 194 million liters of water and has fallen by 16% fuel consumption.

Thus, there is no doubt that sustainability pays and is a great alternative. After all I see we were not in the wrong business.

A "cold" greeting

These days, the world "enjoys" an inflationary trend that is affecting most emerging markets in the world. Although we are in the midst of a global credit crunch, analysts say the Latin economy has remained firm in this scenario, thanks to, among other things, the dependence of these markets for raw materials, which has continued to report significant benefits.

However, you can not declare victory and monetary authorities in each country must do the same to prevent this moment dreamed that exists now ends abruptly with a span of noses. While there is increased uptake of capital, product of unusual oil prices and other minerals such as copper and gold, the truth is that they are also raising prices in almost all countries of the region (Argentina and Venezuela talking inflations unofficially 20 and 15%, respectively).

Such a situation can affect us in various ways; first building has contracted in several countries in the region. For example, in Colombia, in the first quarter it contracted more than 5% and this made significantly dropped the rate of growth of this nation, which came just a little more than 4% when your expectation was more than 8%. This may mean lower consumption of air conditioning solutions and controls in a market that was offering better prospects.

But cooling may face a nice little picture in the sense that food prices are rising and this could mean fewer products to cool; other projections are talking about rising prices in the refrigeration equipment, and although the dollar has depreciated in most countries, the price of oil inflicts heavy punishment for freight work.

But every crisis brings an opportunity. The increase in energy prices is still the best market opportunity to market air conditioners and energy-efficient cooling. The idea is that it is better to get familiar with the environment in which we are entering so we can take timely measures shock and refine contingency plans.

A "cold" greeting.

For many years in industrial segments it has spoken about the risk that technology manufacturers choose to come directly to end users, brincándose with only one attempt almost the entire service chain and distribution.

For many this is not adequate; for others, who have financial muscle, it could be. However the reason for this column is not such a dilemma, it is to present a case to offer a service that almost nobody promotes can turn a company into a leading firm since the perception of the end user, but also a key partner for manufacturers and contractors / dealers.

In one of the trips that the editor did recently met the president of a company that performs an unusual job. Its function is to service the equipment developed by a manufacturer (and installed by contractors). As a way to make life easier for the end user and the other links in the chain; the company in question offers the service repair and maintenance for a certain type of equipment, avoiding replacing complete units, as it always did; such activity became very important for businesses, because we live in times when maximizing financial resources is essential.

Thus, the service provider perfectly identified the distribution chain; the possibility of offering maintenance teams traditionally were replaced in its entirety and generated a competitive advantage for the manufacturer managed.

With this scheme won the manufacturer because its brand is projected to the end user as an actor who accompanies the whole process and cares about customers of their customers always have the best. He won the distributor that sells to its customer a product or solution that has unparalleled support and if even require installation support would get it immediately. He won the final customer no longer has to think about the replacement of a whole unit, but it appears the possibility of changing parts and this saves huge amounts of money. He won the maintenance service provider because it became an inevitable part of the business structure.

The conclusion is that being creative can identify business opportunities that no one ever identified and may thus find profitability and sustenance for the rest of life.

Until next time.

Dear readers. Thank you for taking this magazine in your hands and dedicate a little of your time in reading this editorial.

At the time when this publication was sent to press, I was invited to give a lecture on climate change and market trends in Latin America; stage: the meeting of the division of Honeywell controls and automation for Latin America.

Amid a message I was trying to share with presents and it was only the recapitulation of everything that has spread through multiple media, appeared a reflection of one of those present in the sense that it would be important to know the individual impact of the citizen in this phenomenon.

At this point, every human being has a deep responsibility to the planet, which should lead to actions that can be constructed by analyzing how the measures implemented in the commercial and industrial sector can be adapted to the residential level. In this sense they can be validated actions such as replacing old refrigerators for new, more efficient units, as well as the disconnecting such appliances when not are being used, as this generates heat and thus emissions CO2 to the atmosphere.

I know that the issue of replacement of domestic refrigerators can be somewhat complex due to economic conditions in our countries, but this is where governments come to play an important role beyond discussing the issue with large corporations. The case of the FIDE program in Mexico, where replacing equipment with more efficient units are financed is an example that may well move to the domestic sphere.

It's not easy, but it's not impossible either. The utilities can usually provide information about how to consume less electricity in homes.

Dear readers. A new year begins; Gone are the holidays with family and friends and a lot of goals and projects loom on the horizon. It is our desire that every one of our readers have a prosperous year 2008, in which all projects and ambitions are realized.

Just as times change, the new year brings changes and modifications of importance to the industry. In 2008, attention will be focused on two aspects: energy saving and the replacement of refrigerants. This does not mean that they are new issues, but the last two years, such elements have been undoubtedly the biggest concern of the industry, given the global interest in controlling the effects of development on the environment.

In terms of refrigerants, the year will be marked by various pressures to find a new compound that meets the needs of the majority, although it seems that HFCs continue gaining ground in America, Europe, the ground seems to be traveled so easy, because in that region are more attempts with the issue of global warming. There will seek to consolidate the CO2, which comes with force, although in Latin America still needed to consolidate the use of natural refrigerants. It is also important to begin to develop laws that are more demanding maintenance practices and repacking compounds.

On the other side is energy saving. In developed countries this has become a major concern for the costs of electricity; proof of this is the entry into force of new energy minimum standards for equipment as varied as dishwashers, dehumidifiers, cold rooms and electric motors, among others. This is the result of the signing of the decree of energy independence and security, signed in late December.

This year we must analyze what Latin countries begin to take seriously both, because what has been done so far have been mostly sporadic efforts of governments. 2008 could be the year of change for our industry, even in Latin America; hopefully so, it is time to take really serious positions in regard to the future of the planet.

Julian Restrepo Arcila

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