3 questions to ... Gunther Gamst, Daikin Airconditioning Germany
Sustainability is increasingly becoming a success factor for retail. Refrigeration and air conditioning technology can also contribute to sustainable management. The Conveni-Pack by Daikin combines air conditioning, heating, ventilation, normal and low-temperature refrigeration. CEO Gunther Gamst explains the advantages of the system and the development in terms of sustainability.
Mr. Gamst, last year Daikin already received the “TOP Retail Product Award“ at the EuroShop for its Conveni-Pack. What are the benefits of this system for retailers?
The Conveni-Pack was specially developed for supermarkets to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. It combines air conditioning, heating, ventilation, normal and low-temperature refrigeration all in one system. This way, retailers only need one contact when it comes to installation, maintenance, and service. Centralized control of the system is also made easier this way and allows for proactive responses to changes in the system.
This increases operational reliability and further reduces energy costs. Retailers can achieve up to 40% in energy savings for every store with the Conveni-Pack. Since the waste heat from food refrigeration is used to heat the supermarket during the winter thanks to waste heat recovery, retailers can entirely do away with heating systems that use fossil energy sources. Another advantage for the environment: the Conveni-Pack functions as a heat pump by using air as a renewable energy source.
What are the developments in refrigeration and air conditioning technology and what exactly does a future store system need to be able to accomplish?
Chain stores want energy-efficient, cost and space-saving as well as easy-to-use and reliable system technology. Future store systems need to follow an integrated approach since a combination of heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and ventilation components is the best way to achieve the highest possible savings. At the same time, store system designs should carry over to all of a retailer’s stores without major planning effort.
The many successfully operating systems prove that we are already on the right track with our complete line of system solutions that integrate individual components in one system. One critical success factor is an early integration into the overall concept – in time to respond to the requests and needs of the customer and incorporate, discuss and develop them accordingly during the implementation.
Based on your experience, how important is sustainability for retailers today?
This factor is becoming increasingly important, especially when it comes to reducing energy consumption and using renewable energy sources. At this point, many retailers know their energy costs and energy hogs in their stores. They proceed accordingly and look for solutions to save energy. The retailers we work with completely eliminate the use of oil and gas because they no longer deem it sustainable. At the same time, consumers have also become more conscious about sustainability. They increasingly request foods that are locally sourced and produced in an ecologically responsible manner and they purchase more energy-efficient products.
When retailers openly tell their customers about their energy-efficient, environmentally friendly system technology, it is a clear marketing advantage for them. It is also important to point out that energy savings between 40-50 percent represent an enormous success. Further major technical ideas and solutions are actually not needed since they mean additional investments that are usually disproportionate to the achieved increase in efficiency, which is often only an added three to five percent. “Less“ can often be more in this case.