Chairman’s Message by Eric Johnston

A new year is upon us and with it has come so many exciting changes for IIAR. As we look forward to the first in-person annual conference in years, I’m looking back on all the wonderful achievements our organization has made in 2021. Despite a global pandemic and the inability to meet in person, our members and committees have moved forward several important initiatives, our staff has grown our member services, and we’ve continued to do the essential standards development work our organization is known for.

As I wind up my year as chairman of our International Association of Industrial Refrigeration, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for a job well done during my term and look forward together to the exciting years ahead.

Among IIAR’s significant accomplishments in the past year has been the update and addition of two separate marquee standards. The association released its latest update to IIAR-2, which was first released in 1974, and its first-ever safety standard for carbon dioxide, IIAR CO2.

The release of the updated IIAR-2 Standard in September was the culmination of several years of effort, collecting and addressing nearly 200 individual comments. The work of our standards committee to get this done was intense, involving bi-weekly meetings and the serious dedication of individual members to work through discussing and resolving each comment.

That work has paid off with an updated standard that sets IIAR members up for the next five to ten years and continues to establish IIAR as a critical resource for the future of natural refrigerants and a central part of the cold chain infrastructure.

The recent publication of the IIAR CO2 2021 standard is also part of a long progression of efforts that started over 20 years ago, and a recognition of CO2 ’s more central role in the world of natural refrigerants.

Meanwhile, IIAR is nearing completion of IIAR’s first hydrocarbon standard, a natural extension of our mission to offer safe practice standards as the refrigeration industry turns to low global-warming potential solutions.

I’m proud of IIAR’s significant output of these new and revised standards. These efforts further solidify our organization as the authority on all natural refrigerants, and they also lay the groundwork for a host of other member benefits and services like educational guidelines and classes offered through the Academy of Natural Refrigerants.

IIAR introduced two new guidelines in 2021 – the Insulation Installation Guideline and the Critical Task Guidance for Ammonia Refrigeration System Emergency Planning. In addition, five new or revised classes were added to the Academy’s offerings in 2021 including an ANR IIAR-4 course, an ANR course on the new Ammonia Refrigeration Management Guideline, and three ANR Spanish courses including IIAR-5, IIAR-6, and IIAR-8.

IIAR’s greatest asset is the vibrancy and engagement of its various committees. It has been encouraging to experience first-hand how well our committees are attended by volunteers, how active our membership is in advancing and supporting the work of IIAR’s committees, and how dedicated our staff has been in developing new services. All of these achievements are the result of everyone’s hard work. I would like to thank you all for volunteering your time and actively committing to IIAR– your effort is continuing to pay off.

I’d like to take this opportunity to call for your renewed membership, for your increased participation and leadership in IIAR’s committees, and development of technical materials, like standards, technical papers for the annual conference, or any other work product IIAR produces. Whether you get involved as a committee member or as a tech paper author, or in some other way, your involvement is what makes IIAR a great organization.

Our publications are second to none, addressing new trends and introducing new technologies, and you, as an IIAR member, have the opportunity to contribute to them directly.

You have an unparalleled opportunity to influence the policies, codes, and standards that shape our industry. Our committees span all of these areas and beyond, and they all depend on your help and support. To that end, we’ll be focused once more on the work of our committees this year, especially in the regulatory arena, where we’ve continued to build relationships on behalf of our industry. As chair of IIAR, I have a new-found respect for how important this work is, as well as how rewarding it can be.

This year’s Natural Refrigeration Conference and Expo will feature for the first time an in-person and virtual component. IIAR will record each session and make recordings available online about a week later for those who can’t attend in person, just one more example of how we’ve evolved and met some unique challenges over the last several years. Of course, if you can attend, I’m looking forward to seeing you in person as we return to a non-virtual meeting this year in Savannah, Georgia, March 6-9.

As always, we invite and look forward to everyone’s participation as well as the new accomplishments in the year ahead.