• Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Emissions Reductions
  • CO2 Emissions Management
  • Smart Buildings

Aligning Policy and Technology Demand to Tackle Climate Change

Nov 06, 2018

Connected City 8

The latest United Nations report communicates the urgency of climate change mitigation and the disastrous effect of inaction tied to a projected 1.5°C warming in just 12 years. Tackling the energy consumption in commercial buildings is one great example of the opportunity to shift the message and demonstrate that business-positive investment that will help mitigate climate change.

The Importance of Tackling Building Energy Use

Buildings account for about one-third of total global final-use energy, over half of electricity demand, and just under 10% of energy-related CO emissions according to the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report, Global Warming of 1.5°C. These figures may not seem staggering, but tackling emissions in the buildings sector is transparent and necessary. Investment in technologies that tackle the climate impact of buildings brings a theoretical debate on greenhouse gas emissions down to earth and can provide a tangible link between scientific warnings and business-savvy investment. In Chapter 2 of the special report, the IPCC frames the opportunities to tackle mitigation in the buildings segment: “Consumer choices, behavior, and building operation can also significantly affect energy consumption.” Smart building technologies can be a cost-effective foundation for improving behavior and operations to reduce energy consumption while delivering even broader business benefits.

The Role of Smart Building Solutions in Mitigating Climate Change

Smart building solutions are built around convergence of information technologies and operational technologies—the digital foundation of automated, responsive, and even proactive building operations. There are two steps vendors can take to become smart building market leaders and drive widespread technology adoption:

  1. Build flexible but interoperable solutions. The advancement of the Internet of Things is opening the available market for data-driven changes in behavior and operations. Vendors that offer flexible solution can support both smaller buildings without existing controls and automation, and portfolios that rely on systems from multiple manufactures.
  2. Fine-tune use cases. Messaging is critical to technology adoption. Customers want to understand that their investment affects their bottom line by delivering cost savings in tandem with strategic corporate goals like climate change mitigation. Showcase how smart building solutions use comprehensive datasets to measure metrics that resonate across a customer organization from finance to facility operations to corporate sustainability.

Smart building solutions bring about business-relevant improvements through changes in behavior and operations that can help tackle climate change. It is worth showcasing the commercial buildings market as a center of technology investment because of the transparent energy savings and associated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.