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For the winner of this year's Leader in Energy Savings and Sustainability Award, Dario Ferlin, working in HVACR is all about making a meaningful difference.

Described by colleagues as a man that “breathes system efficiency and sustainability” Ferlin is the refrigeration and sustainable innovations engineer at Woolworths.

He is currently working to create 10 transcritical C02 sites in Australia by the end of 2019.

The HVACR industry is pivotal to modern economies; we simply couldn't sustain our standard of living without it,” Ferlin said.

“The industry is also accountable for a significant proportion of the world's energy consumption and is also an emitter of greenhouse gases.

“It offers enormous potential for us to mitigate the impacts of climate change so working in this industry affords us with a real sense of purpose.

“There are so many layers to the work we do, particularly working for Australia's largest food group and one of the country's largest employers.”

It has been many years since Ferlin completed his engineering degree at Melbourne University but Ferlin said he owes the bulk of his refrigeration training in Co2 technology to time spent in Italy with a leading commercial manufacturing firm.

Commenting on the biggest challenges facing industry in the next few years, Ferlin said its unfortunate HVACR has such a low public profile.

"It makes it tough for our industry because HVACR is not front-of-mind for school leavers when they are assessing their career options," he said.

“This at a time when system complexity is increasing as a result of energy efficiency and the industry is moving toward environmentally benign refrigerants.

“If we are to sustain this industry transformation we need to attract the best young minds in our field. But this is hard to do if we are not visible.”

In a bid to address this problem Ferlin celebrated World Refrigeration Day this year by staging a Woolworths Open Day, an open store walk of its latest transcritical CO2 plants in Victoria and New South Wales.

As sponsor of the Leader in Energy Savings and Sustainability Award, Panasonic Air Conditioning presented this year's award.

It was presented by Panasonic Australia's Victorian and Tasmanian state manager for air conditioning, Kevin James.

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