The international campaign known as World Refrigeration Day (WRD) recently announced its 2023 theme – Next Generation Cooling – to highlight evolving refrigeration solutions for the HVAC&R industry operating in an increasingly warm climate.

Established in 2019 by industry veteran Stephen Gill, WRD takes place each year on June 26, the birthday of refrigeration pioneer Lord Kelvin. The 2023 theme builds on last year’s theme, Cooling Matters, with an additional focus on attracting and training the industry’s workforce.

“As an industry, we need to recruit, train and retain people equipped with the knowledge and skills that a modern, forward-thinking industry requires,” Gill said in the announcement. “This year’s campaign is an opportunity to showcase what we are doing now to ensure we have the diverse and highly skilled workforce that our sector needs for the future.”

Besides educating the public and those working in the industry, Next Generation Cooling draws attention to the future of cooling technology, which has the capability to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption. “[It] tells the story of how our well-being depends upon sustainable cooling (and heating) and how cooling technology choices and an evolving industry can safeguard the well-being of future generations,” said WRD.

WRD cited air-conditioning as an example. “According to the International Energy Agency, air conditioners account for nearly 20% of the total electricity used in buildings around the world today.” With the worldwide rise of ambient temperatures and humidity, WRD believes air-conditioning will become one of the top global drivers of electricity demand over the next three decades.

Wide support

In addition to the sponsorship of over 120 industry manufacturers and end users, the event is supported globally by individuals, professional groups, scientific and engineering associations and government organizations.

“WRD celebrates the people and technologies responsible for creating and maintaining the world we live in, [which is] dependent upon temperature-controlled environments,” WRD said. Over 800 physical events took place in 153 countries in WRD’s inaugural 2019 campaign.

Australia’s largest retail food chain, Woolworths Group, participated in WRD 2019. For WRD 2023, the retailer announced a one-hour June 26 tour of its “state-of-the-art” transcritical CO2 (R744) refrigerant systems in multiple stores in state capital cities with the opportunity to meet industry professionals. The tours showcase potential careers in supermarket refrigeration to young people. The company began installing CO2 systems in 2017, with 79 of its almost 1,100 stores now using the technology.

WRD encourages the industry to celebrate World Refrigeration Day 2023 using hashtags #NextGenCooling, #WorldRefrigerationDay and #WREFD23. To learn more about WRD, visit the campaign’s website or contact

“As an industry, we need to recruit, train and retain people equipped with the knowledge and skills that a modern, forward-thinking industry requires.”

Stephen Gill, Industry Veteran and World Refrigeration Day Founder