EU Sustainable Energy Week - Thoughts from a CEO

During the week commencing 4th June, the EU marked Sustainable Energy Week—a significant event focussing on energy efficiency in Europe. The theme for this year’s show was ‘lead the clean energy transition’—a call to action for governments, businesses, and societies to embrace clean energy.

As recent news reports have shown, there is no shortage of appetite from European businesses to invest in the energy transition movement. As a leading facilities management provider that has been tasked for over two decadeswith driving related efficiencies for clients within businesses across virtually every sector, it is clear to EMCOR UK that the positive mood captured last week echoes a strengthened commitment from clients, as they increasingly adopt more sustainable business practices.

One of the levers that we see businesses pull, and often the simplest strategy returning big results, is a reduction in carbon consumption. Taking this step can be supported through tactics such as consolidation of facilities reducing the energy footprint, energy audits of a building or estate with a particular focus on energy intensive activities, the introduction of heating, cooling and lighting strategies, assessments of indoor air quality and the use of smart building control technologies.

We are seeing a significant shift in opportunities borne of the internet of things (IoT), increasingly driving connectivity in disparate systems and sensors to provide real-time analytical data on everything from office temperature and humidity, to CO2 levels, occupancy and energy consumption. The increase in IoT-enabled buildings allows for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms to optimise building management and efficiency. This demonstrates the potential of a future whereby buildings can be enabled to “think” for themselves.

The UK government seems clear regarding its commitment, as reflected in its recent pledge to halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030 and Prime Minister Theresa May hailing that the ‘importance of climate change action is one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time’ in her recent speech on Science and Modern Industrial Strategy. But it will take a meaningful number of people – playing many different and important roles throughout numerous organisations, holding that vision and working towards it collaboratively – in order to help actualise that commitment.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sustainability, without exception EMCOR UK has seen organisations achieve significant results by taking a few key steps. There’s no doubt that businesses have the opportunity to prosper from a proactive approach to the reduction of energy consumption and the transition to sustainable energy, while at the same time addressing a human commitment to Planet Earth and its current and future inhabitants.