ClimaNovela interview series, today: Alex Rasmussen
In each ClimaNovela edition throughout the summer, Eurovent Board and senior staff members are going to answer a question concerning the state of the European industry, technological evolutions, digitisation, the upcoming Eurovent Summit in Seville or other issues of relevance. Our first question goes to our past President and current Vice-President Alex Rasmussen: In May this year, your three years as a President of Eurovent ended. Could you make an evaluation of your work in this time?
Alex Rasmussen (69) has been President of the European HVACR industry association Eurovent for three years. Throughout his career, Rasmussen has held leading positions from ice cream manufacturing to ventilation and indoor climate solutions. Up until recently, he was Managing Director of Systemair Denmark and one of the major figures in the Air Handling Unit sector.
In May 2018, Alex Rasmussen handed over the Presidency to the next generation. A good reason to ask him the first question.
ClimaNovela: In May this year, your three years as a President of Eurovent ended. Could you make an evaluation of your work in this time?
Rasmussen: Throughout three years, I continued the development path initiated by my predecessor Christian Herten to further consolidate our association’s activities and initiated measures for a sustainable development. While there is still a lot on the agenda, I feel that we are prepared for the ongoing challenges our industry is facing both within Europe and an ever more globalised world.
At the Eurovent Association we have, for instance, initiated various special projects that develop forward-thinking industry standards and recommendations keeping in mind the year 2030 and beyond. As an example, the Product Group ‘Air Handling Units’ is currently working on an industry-first Life Cycle Cost standard and software that allows everyone to assess the performance of a unit over a lifetime.
One of our core priorities throughout all activities is to push the market for the highest possible focus on performance, quality, and sustainability. Buyers and end-users should understand that the initial sales price should not be the main denominator as it does not say anything about the costs in the mid and long-term. In simple terms: A cheap unit will most certainly cost you more over a lifetime than a high-quality unit that might be more expensive.
Another important point is of course European legislation. At Eurovent, we are actively involved with all major European Union product and application orientated regulatory measures such as Ecodesign, Energy Performance of Buildings, Machinery, Pressure Equipment – which are significantly impacting our industry.
While we fully support such measures and believe that they have pushed innovation, we should ensure that requirements remain achievable and enforceable. It does not make sense to create measures that some countries in Europe are unable to follow or enforce. European Union legislation should allow many small and medium companies in Europe to accompany the legislation, as otherwise only large multinationals will be able to cope with it.
A last issue that has received particular importance during my Presidency was globalisation. In Europe, we would do well overcoming still existing national issues while acting as one European industry. Each manufacturer, no matter which size and market focus, should be aware of what is happening in other countries and regions of the world. Eurovent is the only European HVACR association focussing on such matters. To support our industry, we have for instance started to set up chapters abroad, with Eurovent Middle East being a prime example. Our key goal here is not to push markets for the European way, but to work towards a level-playing field and high standards benefiting everyone in the mid and long run.