We look back on the history of Earth Day, how and why it was established, this year’s theme of Climate Action, and how Building Management Systems can contribute to achieving UK climate goals.
A hallowed history
The likely progenitor to the modern environmental movement, Earth Day began on April 22, 1970 when 20 million Americans, 1 in 10 at the time, united to protest environmental ignorance.
The response to this massive display of unity and concern was the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), establishment of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Act and the standardisation of such legislation and governmental bodies across the world.
Earth Day is now considered the world’s largest civic event and holds such cultural resonance that it was on this day four years ago that the Paris Climate Agreement was brought into force.
Climate Action is this year’s Earth Day theme and, in answer to the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s organisers have adopted a digital format with speakers ranging from his holiness Pope Francis to musician Ziggy Marley.
UK climate targets, as stated back in 2016, include an ambitious reduction of 57% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 however this does not imply that we should stop boiling our kettles or watching our favourite Netflix shows.
The two key areas for improvement, that the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) have identified, surround transitioning to low-carbon or zero-carbon fuels and improved efficiency with regards to energy usage.
UK energy suppliers have already made unprecedented progress in moving to greener energy sources, with renewables filling over 20% of UK demand in 2019, however as consumers we may only be able to influence these changes with our spending habits.
Luckily, using energy efficiently is something that we can each take responsibility for, both at the individual and organisational levels. While we might domestically adopt best practices like switching off lights before leaving a room, for enterprises of scale direct action may not be the most effective.
And with the introduction of SECR, and other legislation designed to promote UK climate goals, it is inclement upon management professionals to find the solutions which are effective.
Systems of change
The integration of the management of utilities on commercial sites comprehensively improves energy efficiency, it not only affords facility managers unparalleled control over individual utilities but it also provides the usage data that will frame subsequent decision making.
As such, Building Management Systems (BMS) and their installation are poised to become a standard among real estate developers and a sought-after product in existing commercial buildings.
T-mac can provide BMS solutions to organisations of all sizes, including our micro-BMS for smaller facilities, as well as metering and monitoring services to inform future building management strategy. In addition, we also educate our clients and their management on energy usage and associated best practices.
Our dashboard software, Smart.Dash, which can be displayed in common areas and can also act as a personal screen saver, combines a clean and concise interface with complete remote access to provide rigorous but digestible data.
The BMS packages we offer allow total remote control over both individual building utilities as well as that of multi-site estates. Connectivity to this degree affords businesses the opportunity to participate in events like Earth Hour and respond dynamically to changing utility needs.
One particularly relatable example of such a change is the need for businesses to shut down non-essential systems during lockdown-as we’ve just helped New Look do across its stores.
Find out about our Smart.Dash, BMS offerings and other services at our website.