This morning I attended a roundtable discussion in Warsaw, Poland, on climate change and how energy efficient buildings can impact carbon emissions. Surprisingly, buildings consume approximately 40% of all energy produced globally – more than transport or industry. Energy used in buildings is a major contribution to climate change, hence it must be addressed.
The discussion was facilitated by The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, WBCSD, a global coalition of companies advocating for progress on sustainable development.
The meeting was arranged by the Energy Efficiency Board of Poland, and the discussion related to the development of a report on membership organisations progress to work on energy efficiency in Poland. Attending organisations includes construction companies, developers, architects, real estate investment funds, research organisations and NGOs.
It is satisfying to see how big business is taking energy efficiency issues seriously. Business, public authorities, professional bodies and environmental organizations must share the task of supporting and driving the transformation of the building market towards radically lower energy use in buildings.
Leadership in energy efficiency in buildings represents opportunities to reduce resource use, improve workplace productivity, and minimize impacts on the environment, all of which contribute to healthier, more sustainable cities. These collective efforts can set new sustainability standards for buildings that will incentivize investment in energy efficient buildings and will result in the significant reductions in worldwide energy use and corresponding carbon emissions that we need to ensure a liveable World for the future.
In our work with innovation and especially with development for cities and regions, sustainability issues in vision, strategy and innovations needs to come increasingly more to the forefront, as my colleague Lars-Göran Larsson wrote about recently.