We have an unprecedented opportunity to revolutionize how energy is consumed. To keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, accelerating a radical shift to smarter energy use is crucial. Within the private sector the transition has already begun, yet it is not happening fast enough – and millions of dollars in energy savings remain untapped.
Buildings are crucial targets for lowering emissions. They are what make up our rapidly expanding urban landscapes, their construction and architectural shape in turn shaping everyday human lives. Yet they also represent 32% of global energy consumption and a quarter of global human induced CO2 emissions.
When acting on the energy efficiency of buildings, businesses should focus on the easy wins first; the changes that can shave huge amounts off energy bills as well as drastically lower emissions. With lighting representing up to 40% of a building’s electricity use, LEDs provide workable solutions for energy managers – and Chief Financial Officers – globally.
That’s why, today, The Climate Group launched a new call to action to businesses to transition to LED lighting.
The power of LEDs
According to Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), a world leader in connected LED lighting, a global switch to LEDs across the private sector could generate US$94 billion in cost savings while avoiding 403 million tons of CO2 emissions. That’s equivalent to taking roughly 265 million cars off the road for a year.
When connected with environmental sensors on buildings, data management systems and the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) technologies, LEDs can unlock further energy and financial savings.
Over the coming months, in partnership with Signify, we aim to share best practice case studies and facilitate peer-to-peer learning to accelerate the mass roll-out of LEDs and smart energy systems.
At today’s Data, Decarbonization and Disruption event in London, hosted by The Climate Group and Landsec, we did just that. We brought together key stakeholders from business and NGOs to share how smart technologies can help companies improve their energy efficiency and deliver on energy productivity goals.
Landsec is well placed to share such success stories. By this time last year, the real estate company had already reduced its energy intensity by 13% compared to a 2014 baseline – making headway on its leadership pledge through EP100, The Climate Group’s global initiative for energy-smart companies. This has saved 18,000 tons of CO2, and reduced customers’ energy costs by close to US$4 million per year. LEDs have played a central part in Landsec’s energy productivity strategy, and by installing them in both offices and shopping centres the company has seen immediate and effective energy savings.
In a series of panel discussions today, we also heard from Signify on how installing connected LED lighting systems can deliver 50-70% energy savings (and 80%+ with smart controls). And EP100 and RE100 member Swiss Re shared the business case for doing more with less energy while switching to renewable power.
The Deputy Mayor of London Shirley Rodrigues shared the Capital’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050 through some exciting smart energy initiatives, and Molly Webb, founder & CEO of Energy Unlocked, explored implications for energy markets globally and what policies may be required to keep up with the pace of rapid modernization.
The Energy Transitions Commission says energy productivity needs to improve at an annual rate of at least 3% in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. How we use energy in the future will be key, and LED lighting is an easy first step that companies can take.