Net Zero Week
With Net Zero Week taking place from 17-23 July, restrictions lifting on 19 July and businesses across the UK getting ready for a return to the office, now is the opportune time to acknowledge how much energy we waste in our workplaces and take steps to address it, as a matter of urgency.
UK office buildings waste £60 million worth of energy every year, according to the Green Alliance, and the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) issued a report this month saying the cost of making buildings net zero by 2050 could be nearly £400bn.
We need initiatives to help engage everyone in this effort, not least because the World Economic Forum has said three-fifths of measures needed to get to “net zero” require behavioural and social change. Management consultancy Ampersand and A4MT launched CUBE in June, an innovative competition to drive energy use reduction in commercial buildings through gamification and changing human behaviour. Occupiers, landlords and building managers have until October to register their buildings to take part.
Already established in France, CUBE has delivered energy and equivalent annual cost savings by an average of 12% and up to 55% for the likes of BNP Paribas and Orange - through simple interventions and without significant investment. More than 1,459 buildings have participated to date and the competition has shown, year after year, that it delivers tangible results.
Greg Borel, managing partner of Ampersand, said: “We need to look at net zero carbon as a responsibility but also as an investment that will pay back, and make buildings healthier in the process. We also need to change the nature of the landlord and tenant relationship so it’s not about ‘imposing’ green leases but embracing them in the spirit of working together for mutual benefit.”
Kristin Marin, who runs CUBE in the UK, said: “The statistics can be daunting but they, along with awareness campaigns like Net Zero Week, highlight the scale of the challenge and the importance of all of us taking on our fair share of tackling emissions to stop global warming. We have launched CUBE so our commercial buildings can become greener. We help landlords and occupiers take the first step and help them change how we behave to make energy savings. And we do that in an engaging, fun way that gets all employees returning to the office involved and united by a goal that will help us mitigate the impact of climate change.”
Set up for landlords, building managers and occupiers, CUBE is a community of businesses that embarks on a programme to encourage behavioural change and make energy savings. It sets a baseline based on the previous one to three years of energy consumption data, then collects utility bills monthly to assess performance and improvements. Once the competition is underway, entrants receive their monthly ranking, based on the data, and the top performers are published, with awards given for the best results over 12 months.
Registration is now open with the competition getting underway from October. https://www.cubecompetition.co.uk/