We inaugurate the news section of this blog by introducing the association to which we belong, Assotermica, with an interview with Mario Zucco, IMIT Control System Operating Director and Assotermica Vice President since 2016.

Since when is IMIT associated with Assotermica? What advantages did it bring?

Since 1970, first as Unione Calore and then as Assotermica. We immediately became interested and actively participate in the various working groups of the main associations in the sector. It’s essential for us to be aware of the new regulations and compare ourselves at the technical discussions.

How does Assotermica work?

It’s the national association that represents the sector of manufacturers of appliances and components for heating systems, always among those most affected by constant regulatory and legislative evolution. Assotermica sits at the technical tables where national and European standards are “made” and works closely with the institutions (Italian Ministries and Parliament, first of all) to protect the interests of the sector. Many standards of our interest, from the design of the appliances to their installation, have been conceived in technical committees coordinated by Assotermica. The process of definition of all the legislation on safety and energy by the institutions sees the association between the main stakeholders.

There is also a monthly data collection that helps companies to know the market in detail.

Our sector represents the second market in Europe, and Assotermica is also on the board of the European network European Heating Industry.

Is it mandatory for a company to be part of a sector association?

No. But, fortunately, almost all of the companies in our sector join the Association, creating unity of purpose and action, especially with regard to device safety.

What does “to create unity of purpose and action” mean?

It means respecting ethical and behavioral codes: despite being competitors, we all know that within the Association is better to work together, in the interest of the sector. In this sense, an active participation means bringing ideas and motivations, knowing that activities useful for everyone and, above all, opportunities will develop only from the comparison.

Assotermica is an ANIMA Confindustria federated. What relationship is there between these entities?

Assotermica is the largest association of ANIMA and, together with Assoclima, one of the most active within the Federation. So, we are directly present in Confindustria (the main association representing manufacturing and service companies in Italy) with our representatives at the energy work tables. The various Confindustria reports on energy efficiency and renewables have been used by the Italian government, for example, to define incentives at national level.

What influence does Assotermica have on the legislator?

Over time we have become a constant interlocutor with the political side, even if this does not necessarily mean that our proposals are always accepted. However, it is an ongoing work on which the Association is investing because the legislation in our sector has enormous impacts, as seen for example in the drafting of regulations on Ecodesign.

We are also respected and listened to, thanks to our technical expertise in the various regulatory committees – CIG, CTI, CEN and ISO – through a large number of corporate delegates. Who better than companies can be expert on their subject?

Unfortunately, we are experiencing a delicate moment, because of the Covid-19 epidemic. What support are you receiving from the Association?

There was an important coordination within ANIMA, with the launch of a counter to respond to urgent questions from companies, supporting them especially on the regulations to be respected at the reopening. Also on a “human” level, a social campaign was launched and companies were asked to show how they were respecting all the safety requirements of their employees, which we were happy to join.

Now, in phase 2 of reconstruction, we are working on the advocacy to raise awareness of the political part about the role of buildings in the economic recovery. In this sense, in recent days there has been a lot of discussion about incentives and an “enhanced” eco-bonus.

So what will the next initiatives be?

We have decided to focus more and more on communication, to pass on the message of the centrality of our sector with respect, for example, to the national and European objectives of environmental sustainability. Often the sector does much more than it manages to communicate and the challenge is to speak to a wider audience, in order to make the individual citizens aware of the opportunities linked to plant engineering interventions, more gentle with our planet.

And speaking of communication, hopefully, the IMIT blog can help! Thanks!

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