Australia has always had a love-hate relationship with the sun. Lots of sunny, clear, blue-sky days have built Australia’s reputation as a top tourist destination while, simultaneously, creating devastating droughts, dangerous bushfire conditions and the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.
While most Australian’s are ‘sun smart’ and remember to ‘splish, splash, splosh’ when on the beach, many are still completely unaware of the most effective ways to reduce the sun’s heat, light and UV radiation in their own homes. In this Q&A session, Anthony Adamo, National Operations Manager for Verosol, tells us how he plans on changing that.
Hi Anthony – Can you please tell me a little bit about your role at Verosol?
I've been with Verosol for 17 years now. That seems like a long time, but I’ve had multiple roles over the years, in many different areas of the business, so it’s flown by. I'm currently the National Operations Manager, running the facility here in Sydney, but I’ve held positions across our technical teams, automation and systems teams as well as product design. My current role still involves product design and it’s an area I’m really passionate about. We’re part of a bigger organisation, but our Australian division is focused on performance textiles, so we have a lot of fabrics that have solar optic–platforms, high-performing metallised fabrics.
Why is sustainability important to Verosol?
Our product was invented in order to solve a widespread energy efficiency issue, so sustainability is at the centre of our existence. Our founder was a Dutch ship builder. He sailed into New York harbour in the 60s and was struck by all the glass-covered skyscrapers; he wondered how on earth these buildings were able to keep cool in such extreme sun exposure and realised that they were all relying entirely on air conditioning. That was his epiphany moment. He went back to the Netherlands and invented the only purpose-built machine to metallise fabric. We still hold the world's best solar reflectivity on textile: 85% on our Silver Screen 202 range, the highest reflection of any fabric that's ever been produced. We all speak quite passionately about our products and believe every building in the world should have our blinds. I’m aware that that’s a strong statement, but that’s the difference we feel our products can make to energy consumption.
The last two Australian summers were the hottest on record. Have you seen a change in customer awareness, when it comes to energy efficient solutions like Verosol?
Yes, but not as much as we’d like. I don't think heat has always been a catalyst for decision-making, but it should be. We normally see roughly half of our annual sales come in throughout the hotter, summer months, so reducing heat is definitely the driving factor. But there’s still a dependency on air conditioning and, often, we find customers will consider far more costly and complicated options such, as solar panels to offset the energy consumption of their air conditioning, before more immediate solutions like ours, that can dramatically reduce heat and light coming into the home in the first place.
Why are you sponsoring this year’s awards?
Mainly to educate customers and raise awareness of the difference that products like ours can make, when it comes to design more energy efficient homes and buildings. We have strong ethics – we don’t target our competitors, we just focus on providing the best possible solution to an on-going problem. We want to be champions of the industry and we want to make the industry better. There are a lot of copycat products coming into the market that don’t come anywhere close to us, in terms of performance, and there’s a lot of misinformation in our market, so we’re trying to help customers make the best decisions. We have a range of options and we focus on energy reduction, attributes, finding the perfect balance between blocking light while staying connected to the environment. We spend a lot of time inside our buildings, so it’s about being comfortable and retaining outdoor views, while being smarter about keeping cool.
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