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HVAC Solutions for the Green Agenda

In his welcome message on the COP 28 Presidency Website, the President-Designate H.E. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber stressed the urgency of the discussions that will be taking place.

“At COP21 in 2015, the world agreed to limit global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels by 2050. To remain on target, science tells us that emissions must be halved by 2030. We only have another seven years to meet that goal. COP28 UAE is a prime opportunity to rethink, reboot, and refocus the climate agenda.”

The forthcoming UN Conference on Climate Change is being held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 30th November to 12th December this year and so far progress towards meeting reduced carbon emission targets has been disappointingly slow. An article by Forbes in January 2023 also stressed the vital importance of COP 28.

“There was widespread consternation at the lacklustre COP27 climate conference in Egypt at the end of 2022, and fears that a similar lack of ambition would prevail as the journey starts to COP28, to be held in the United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s biggest oil producers.

“But as the UAE starts the countdown to the next UN climate conference at the end of the year, there is a notable sense of urgency, purpose and realism – in the climate community at large, and from the next summit hosts.

“COP28 will be a significant moment because it marks the first ‘global stocktake’, a comprehensive assessment of progress against the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Innovations for energy efficiency and carbon reduction

An article posted by the World Economic Forum in February 2022 stated that heating and cooling technology for buildings produces approx. 15% of global carbon emissions. However, the author continues:

“The good news is that innovation already exists to increase energy efficiency and decarbonize heating, cooling and ventilation, while creating comfortable, healthy indoor spaces. If we can accelerate adoption of these technologies and scale them globally, it will move us toward the UNFCC goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.”

As a world market leader in the non-domestic HVAC sector, Schwank has always prioritised maximising energy efficiency throughout its product range. This not only reduces the carbon footprint of the buildings in which Schwank systems are installed but cuts the operating costs for the company’s industrial and commercial customers. So it’s a win-win situation.

Schwank is also making significant moves in delivering renewable solutions to the marketplace, while also ensuring that these offer maximum flexibility to its customers in the period of transitioning to Net Zero. This is typified by the company’s geniumSchwank tube heater, the world’s first ever heating solution that can be safely powered by 100% hydrogen gas. However, notably, geniumSchwank systems can be installed now, before hydrogen gas networks become available. This is because the heater can perform equally well using natural gas or LPG, and converting these heaters to work on 100% hydrogen is a very simple process.

Like other world leading companies in the HVAC sector, Schwank is focused on the environmental agenda as a major priority. It is certain that the technological advances that such companies are making will be pivotal in achieving the sustainable future being envisaged by the COP 28 Conference hosts.

The Role of Heat Pumps in the Drive for Net Zero

A BBC News report on 30th March was aimed at informing the public about heat pumps and how to acquire them. They are seen as a major part of the government’s strategy for reducing carbon emissions caused by HVAC systems. However, the report indicated that things were not going to plan, opening with the words:

The government’s flagship green heating scheme has been heavily criticised in a House of Lords report.

“The Boiler Upgrade Scheme offers households £5,000 to replace their gas boilers with heat pumps. But the Lords Net Zero Committee has warned take-up is so low the national target for green heating is ‘very unlikely to be met.’”

Crucially, the BBC also revealed the fact that: “The government’s own research from autumn 2022 showed 80% of people in the UK did not know what a heat pump was, let alone had heard of the grant.”

Heat pumps can offer significant benefits for business and industry in meeting their targets for energy efficiency and carbon reduction and it is likely that the knowledge of professionals such as facilities managers will be greater than that of the public at large. Nevertheless, they may not all be fully informed about the benefits they offer and how these are achieved.

Both Heating and Cooling Provided

The National Grid provides a succinct definition of how heat pumps operate.

“A heat pump uses the same technology as an air conditioner, which cools your home using a refrigerant. The only major difference between an air-conditioner and a heat pump is that a heat pump has a reversing valve, which allows it to also heat your home.

“In heating mode, a heat pump works like an air conditioner in reverse; instead of keeping your home cool, it uses the refrigerant to warm your home.”

This year-round benefit is a major factor in the heat pump’s favour. The term ‘heat pump’ will be naturally associated by the general public with a way of providing heat when replacing a boiler-based system.

But cooling has also become an important issue. In July 2022 the Met Office gave out some unprecedented statistics on the rising summer temperatures.

“The UK’s new record-high temperature of 40.3°C at Coningsby, Lincolnshire, has been confirmed by the Met Office, following a rigorous process of analysis and quality control…

“Record-high temperature records have also been verified for Wales, with 37.1°C at Hawarden Airport, Flintshire, on 18 July now verified. All appropriate standards have also been met to confirm a new record high temperature for Scotland of 34.8°C at Charterhall on 19 July.” 

So the dual operating capabilities of heat pumps should make them increasingly attractive to home owners and businesses alike.

Options for Business and Industry

There is a variety of heat pumps that can be provided for the non-domestic market. For instance, Schwank in partnership with Panasonic, has extended its heat pump range from gas-engine operated products to a variety of options, adding electrical heat pumps, hybrid heat pumps and chillers to the solutions it offers. These provide customers with options that can be tailored to the individual needs of their businesses and support their goals to achieve sustainability.

The drive to reach Net Zero carbon emissions brings in a number of different approaches, from generating energy from renewable sources to ensuring buildings are insulated to high standards. The HVAC sector is continually making technological advances that it is confident will positively  impact on the ambition to reach the target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

A template for Carbon Reduction

In November 2021, the UK Government published notification of its Energy Related  Products Policy Framework, which aimed to set out “the UK plan on how we will drive products to use less energy, resources and materials and how this will contribute to achieving net zero.”

Fast forward to November 2022 and the European Parliament published a post relating to its intention to tackle climate change, stating: “The European Parliament adopted the European Climate Law, which raises the EU’s 2030 emissions reduction target to at least 55% from 40% and makes climate neutrality by 2050 legally binding.”

Leaving the European Union has not affected the UK’s commitment to the same environmental objectives as the EU and its members. These include the aims for the efficient use of energy characterised by the EU Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive which this ErP Compliance blog fully endorses.

Energy efficiency plays a vital role in reducing carbon emissions and significant progress has been made by the HVAC sector in product advances for both householders and businesses alike.

Schwank is a world market leader in the manufacture and supply of heating, cooling and ventilation solutions for industrial and commercial buildings, as well as other large space heating applications. The company sees the ErP Directive as a template for carbon emissions and has produced a helpful blog entry on the areas of the Directive affecting products destined for the industrial and commercial HVAC sector.

It includes the information that: There is a uniform parameter for the energy efficiency industrial heating systems in the ErP Directive of 2018: the annual utilisation factor also called seasonal energy efficiency.” 

It is worth noting that products being manufactured by Schwank exceed the seasonal energy efficiency targets set by the Directive.

Moreover, Schwank would assert that energy efficiencies in HVAC also carry additional benefits as well as reaching Net Zero targets by 2050. By reducing energy usage, the operating costs of businesses can be cut and dependency on energy from unreliable or potentially hostile sources can be diminished.

So, advantages are apparent for both individual businesses and for the economies of the UK and other nations alike. Carbon reduction, energy costs and energy security can all be encompassed within a planned and proactive energy efficiency agenda.


UK Gov energy related policy framework Energy-related products policy framework – GOV.UK (

EU Parliament Reducing carbon emissions: EU targets and measures | News | European Parliament (

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