Research results show that the implementation of Schneider Electric's digital building solutions and energy management can reduce the operational carbon emissions of commercial buildings by up to 42 percent with a return on investment in less than three years. Also, buildings will reduce operational carbon emissions by an additional 28 percent, i.e. they will reduce total emissions by up to 70 percent if they focus entirely on electricity and digital solutions, by replacing heating from fossil sources with electrical alternatives, and by installing microgrids powered by local renewables energy sources.
Reducing operational emissions is key to decarbonizing as many existing buildings as possible and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. This comprehensive research confirms that reducing carbon emissions by up to 70 percent is achievable if we transform existing buildings into energy-efficient, fully electrified, and digitized assets - said Arthur Vašarević, General Manager for Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina at Schneider Electric.
The research, conducted in collaboration with the consulting firm WSP, is based on monitoring the energy efficiency and carbon emission levels of large office buildings built in the early 2000s in different climate regions of the US. However, a digital approach to building renovation is applicable to all building types and climates and therefore represents the most effective strategy for building decarbonisation, enabling rapid results with fewer Scope 1 emissions.
The renovation of buildings by implementing digital technologies improves and facilitates the daily business activities of users in buildings, but it is also important for the long-term and sustainability itself. Namely, buildings that are not decarbonized can become unusable assets that lose value and are not attractive to investors and tenants.
The transition to low-carbon buildings also opens up significant potential for job creation, according to recent research from Boston University's Institute for Global Sustainability and Schneider Electric's Institute for Sustainability Research.