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A Sustainable Future for the Commercial Built Environment

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By Kathryn Yates

A Sustainable Future for the Commercial Built Environment

3 mins read

The importance of data and decision-making as positive tools for change.

The built environment currently contributes 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, and it’s growing influence will be vital to both global change.

The ongoing pandemic has contributed to an already changing energy strategy in the UK. Between January and October 2020 our CO2 emissions decreased 10.2% from the same period last year. This followed news in 2019 that in the third quarter renewables generated more electricity than fossil fuels in the UK for the first time.

As the UK pushes towards Net-Zero, it is important to consider how the built environment can lead the way in this arena. An office building such as No.1 Spinningfields in Manchester is equivalent to 1,300 semi-detached homes in the UK. Using this influence for positive change will be key in working towards a greener world.

As we continue to adapt to the new normal, our priorities have shifted. Cost and usage need to be as efficient and valuable as possible. Our workplaces need to be safe. The value of using our built environment has increased exponentially.
Our sustainable future depends on understanding our living activity as our usage is constantly changing. As people return to the commercial environment, this activity will continue to fluctuate with the same unpredictability we have become accustomed to.

Capturing the living data of the built environment gives businesses the power to optimise rather than just reduce. The application of data analytics fosters a future where businesses can clearly account for the changing nature of activity and carbon emissions. Knowledge of this data gives agency to decision-makers to work towards sustainability and helps them understand the green value of their business.

As key stakeholders in the commercial environment continue to make these decisions, coupled with the growing value of each individual person in our businesses, the importance of sustainability will increase. This can start a positive chain of impact that ripples all the way from local to regional to national to global.

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