The starting gun has sounded on another year of the Cooling Industry Awards, with a new judging process and refreshed categories giving everyone a chance to shine
It is that time of year again when we launch the Cooling Awards 2015 officially, sounding the starting gun on what I am sure will be another great year of achievements.
The arrival of a tougher F-Gas, the retailers’ increased focus on convenience and the ever rising price of energy are creating a landscape for the constant innovation that the industry is rightly known for.
In its decade of existence, the Cooling Awards has earned a reputation as the ‘one to win’ as it demonstrates a commitment not just to doing the best for customers, but doing the best for the environment too.
We know, because you tell us, a Cooling Award helps to win business because it shows that you are ‘doing the right thing.’ And an Award sitting on the company shelf is always a great conversation starter with visitors!
The Awards may seem a long way off, but we have learned as the years have gone on, to give everyone as much notice of the key dates as possible. The most important date to put in your diary is the Awards night itself, Wednesday September 23rd, at its usual home of the London Hilton on Park Lane.
Equally important to note is the entry closing date of May 1st, which will give you a full three months to start planning your entries.
Ensuring that the Cooling Awards remains the best in the business requires a good deal of organisation behind the scenes and we are always looking to make the experience even better for those entering.
So this year we are starting things slightly earlier in 2015 to enable us to introduce an exciting new development, cementing Cooling’s position as the most rigorous and transparent in the business – face-to-face judging.
This new judging process will allow all the shortlisted entrants to present their entries live to judges in a Dragons Den-style pitch.
The aim is to allow entrants to have a chance to convince the judges face to face of the qualities of their entry – no longer do they need to rely on the written word alone, but can convey their enthusiasm direct to the judges!
We believe it will also bring the judging out of the ‘back room’ and into the foreground.
We have noted before that the Cooling Awards have great credibility throughout the industry and its customers because of the number of judges we have – and the fact that this year we will have around 50 people involved in the judging can only continue this!
We have again reviewed the categories in a bid to reflect the industry’s changing priorities and hopefully to give every one, wherever they are in the Cooling supply chain something to strive for.
We’ve dropped a couple of categories so that we can give due attention to growing areas. Firstly, we are giving heat pumps a category of their own with Heat Pump Product of the Year.
With governments in the UK and Europe focusing their energy strategies on significantly increased heat pump use, we want to highlight the innovations at work by those companies at the forefront of integrated heating and cooling.
Of course, many of those developments come from within the cooling industry, but excitingly there are a growing number of dedicated heat pump specialists joining the innovation.
At the same time, we are introducing a dedicated category for the Restaurant and Hotel sector, called Excellence in Foodservice.
This sector has historically not been well-known for its environmental innovation, but the trend is changing as business owners increasingly focus on the importance of energy and carbon footprints.
The new Award aims to recognise those companies showing best practice and innovative technology within the often intense demands of busy kitchens and dining areas.
Finally we have slightly changed the emphasis of the convenience category which debuted last year.
We are now calling it Convenience Store/Food to Go Project of the Year, because we believe that food shops have as much to shout about as those offering small-footprint grocery formats. But we need the help of those readers active with the food-to-go sector to get entering.
All the details are on the Cooling Awards website. Let’s make this another year to remember for Cooling!