World Environment Day 2021: Greening Our Cities via Building Efficiency
World Environment Day 2021: Greening Cities via Building Efficiency
On World Environment Day 2021, one of the key goals is greening our cities. That’s only possible if building-efficiency technologies are implemented to cut carbon emissions and support the planet.
World Environment Day 2021
For World Environment Day 2021 the theme is: “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore. We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We are the generation that can make peace with nature.”
For us, the critical part of this year’s goal is to “green our cities,” because that’s what we work on every day. Let’s take a look at why greener buildings are critical.
Greening Our Buildings for the Environment
As we’ve said since HIGHMARK was founded in 2013, conventional buildings are incredibly wasteful. This is due to the 40-40-40 scenario in which buildings:
- Account for ~40% of the U.S.’s annual energy use
- Generate ~40% of the U.S.’s greenhouse gas emissions
- Waste ~40% of their energy input
Therefore, creating greener buildings is essential to supporting the environment. More sustainable buildings means less energy consumed and fewer carbon emissions – a win-win for the planet.
Building Efficiency to the Rescue
The most renewable energy that exists is the energy that was never used. And this is exactly what building-efficiency technologies achieve – they enable buildings to run using less energy and resources.
A strong example of a building-efficiency technology that does this is heat pumps. These electric systems handle space heating and cooling, as well as domestic hot water. By reusing waste heat and maximizing efficiency, heat pumps allow for building electrification and carbon-emission reduction. Heat pumps are exactly what the environment needs right now.
Building Efficiency Supports the Environment
By utilizing innovative building-efficiency technologies, structures use fewer resources to run, thus becoming greener. And what does this mean for the environment? Quite a lot in fact. Here’s what the World Green Building Council says on the topic:
“Green buildings cannot only reduce or eliminate negative impacts on the environment, by using less water, energy or natural resources, but they can – in many cases – have a positive impact on the environment (at the building or city scales) by generating their own energy or increasing biodiversity.”
Therefore, it’s time for greater building efficiency for greener buildings on World Environment Day.
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