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28 Apr 2021 | Industry Insights

Are we doing enough to achieve Net Zero?

Have you ever wondered where most of the world's carbon emissions come from?

Is it from deforestation, agriculture or manufacturing? Delving into the answers to these questions is rather surprising.

The realities of CO2 emissions are much removed from what you see in newspapers and on TV. Did you know that cement manufacturing emits more greenhouse gases than the total amount from the aviation industry?

Cement production accounts for between 6-8% of global carbon emissions – more than the total combined emissions of every plane in the sky, train on a track and ship in the sea. While we can actively limit our use of planes, trains and ships to reduce emissions, currently, there are few alternatives to concrete in the construction of buildings.

Here is another example - The billions of homes around the world today account for 10.9% of total global carbon emissions, including everything from electricity to coal, wood and gas.

However, the steel and chemical industries combined account for 13% of carbon production.

A crazy statistic considering, on the one hand, there are eight billion people and only a few thousand manufacturing plants worldwide.

Similarly, buildings are responsible for 39% of global CO2 emissions, with 28% generated during operation.

The UK Government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, as have many other developed nations.

These countries have begun to use renewable energy generated through solar or wind power rather than coal or gas to generate electricity.

Additionally, many private businesses are looking at product solutions to move them closer to net-zero.

Research carried out by GeSI, facilitators of real-world solutions to solve real-world issues within IT, has suggested that the deployment of digital twins such as Twinview can contribute to a 20% reduction in global carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

Reducing emissions to net-zero is no easy feat, mainly because emissions come from so many different (and sometimes unusual) places that involve a wide range of processes upon which we have become too reliant.

To improve, we must know where we are using our energy. It is no longer enough to achieve net-zero by planting a few trees and keeping lights switched off longer.

In terms of the built environment, a building's carbon footprint can be improved by optimising its performance. Twinview achieves this by using IoT devices and sophisticated AI to identify patterns and trends of how a building is used, allowing the user to see where energy is being spent.

When we understand how a building is used, we can operate it more sustainably, reducing costs while improving efficiency and the occupier experience.

Suppose Net Zero is the goal; it is time to rewrite the rules of the industrial world.