A hundred days of reducing carbon emissions

Taking a lead in reducing carbon emissions — ideas from the winning entry of a competition to reduce carbon emissions from CIBSE’s two buildings at Balham by 60% are now being put into effect.
Samantha McDonough explains why CIBSE is embarking on a 100-day campaign to reduce carbon emissions and why it is important to get involved.In 2006 CIBSE has plans for an ambitious programme of activity aimed at alleviating climate change. A key element of this is to challenge business to cut carbon emissions and in April this year CIBSE will start a new campaign ‘100 days of carbon clean-up’. Challenges The campaign will promote to UK industry the importance of cutting carbon emissions and challenges businesses to have a go at carbon savings over a period of 100 days to see what can be achieved — even by small measures. At the same time, the campaign hopes to gain commitments to save carbon emissions through longer-term initiatives. CIBSE itself will be hosting events and launch activities aimed at promoting issues of carbon emissions in UK industry. During the build up to the start of the campaign in April, a steady stream of promotion will target UK businesses to inform them about the importance of cutting carbon emissions and to urge them to take part in the 100-days campaign. This campaign is vital, as currently it seems that there will be little regulatory requirement for operational ratings to be displayed under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. CIBSE believes that operational ratings are the key indicator of the performance of an existing building’s performance and that many existing buildings need improvement — offering the opportunity for significant carbon savings. Taking a lead With the lack of regulation it is up to industry itself to take a lead, and the 100-days campaign plays on the premise that although more businesses than ever are taking corporate social responsibility seriously, appraising a building’s energy use and making improvements can also save money. CIBSE will provide a basic measuring system for an operational rating at the beginning and end of the 100 days. CIBSE will also provide help and assistance, as well as a suite of support tools — including guidance on low-carbon design and operation. We are convinced that the a significant amount of carbon will be saved over that period. At the end of the campaign there will be an awards ceremony to identify companies that have had significant successes with their carbon saving during the 100 days. It is anticipated that businesses in all different industry sectors will take part in the campaign and will make a commitment for even more significant carbon savings in the future. The CIBSE Carbon 60 project shows this can be done and is a good example of how even older buildings can make significant carbon savings. Low-carbon consultants Through this initiative and CIBSE’s other primary initiative this year of developing and promoting a register of low-carbon consultants, it is envisaged that CIBSE can play an active part in the mitigation of climate change through the reduction of carbon emissions associated with the UK building stock. To find out more about the 100-days campaign, e-mail 100dayscampaign@cibse.org or contact Jane Cade on 020 8772 3645. Samantha McDonough is director of policy and groups with the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, 222 Balham High Road, London SW12 9BS.
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