As Earth Day is upon us, it feels like another reminder of what should be top of our business agenda. UK businesses need to act now to have a better handle of energy management in order to reduce energy waste and create a greener future because acting sustainably, reducing our carbon footprint and building smarter cities is the only way we will reach net zero targets.
But in order to make sustainable improvements, businesses need to carefully consider what our new normal will look like as we ease out of lockdown and edge towards a new way of working while factoring how we can finance greener, healthier and more sustainable cities.
Curbing energy waste
Did you know, energy waste is the UK’s third-largest source of CO2 emissions, with at least 117 million tonnes generated by lost or wasted energy each year¹.
It is often invisible to the human eye, but by depicting energy waste in London as you see in the video below, Schneider Electric hopes to get people thinking differently, change perceptions, and encourage action. We need a good handle on energy management if we are to make good progress.
Analysis of the video shows that 70% of lights in the capital remain switched on overnight. With workers expected to start returning to cities in more significant numbers as lockdown measures continue to ease, highlighting the issue of energy waste have never been more important.
With pollution levels rising as lockdown is eased, urgent measures are needed to ensure we can protect the environment as things start getting back to normal.
Inefficiencies in existing buildings
A staggering 28% of all energy-related CO2 emissions come from commercial and residential buildings.
Schneider Electric has calculated that if we improve energy management and reduce energy consumption in just half of the world’s existing buildings by between 30-50% and continue to electrify and decarbonise energy sources, we could halve global emissions by 2040. Additionally, 82% of the potential to reduce energy waste in buildings alone remains untapped.
Retrofit with electric energy
A key solution in the fight to tackle climate change and eliminate carbon emissions – over 80% of which are caused by energy production and consumption – is the shift to a more electric, and more digital world: ‘Electricity 4.0’.
Electricity is the most efficient energy and the best vector of decarbonization, and with digital innovation it unleashes huge potential to eliminate energy waste – critical to secure a zero-carbon future.
With more than 500,000 partners, employing over 30 million professional, Schneider represents the largest community in the world with the competency to electrify and digitize the world, and has recently received the accolade of being named this year’s ‘World’s Most Sustainable Company’ by Corporate Knights.
Change starts now
We’re dedicated to educating and enabling our partners, customers, local authorities and government on why the UK needs to focus more on ‘building in’ net zero principles – not just for new buildings but also when retrofitting, as c. 80% of the building stock that will be operating in 2050 has already been built.
It’s time to carefully consider what public and private organisations should be doing immediately to combat climate change. A shared approach that integrates and leverages digital technology will help us save the planet, while improving living standards for all.
¹ Schneider Electric Research, 2018
For more information, we invite you to read all the 2021 Earth Day contents we’ve prepared for you in the Schneider Electric blog: