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Article Date: 4th May 2020

Checkit - UK Businesses Lead the Way in Striving to Meet Sustainability Development Goals

Axon, sustainability development goals

As urban living intensifies, emissions from city living harms our planet and impacts the health and wellbeing of residents. The built environment is responsible for around 40% of the UK carbon footprint, half of this being from energy used in buildings.  How are we responding to this challenge? A recent report from HSBC, the Global Navigator Survey, shows strong support for sustainability strategies.

Support for Sustainable Development Goals is strongest from UK businesses

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN, with a total of 169 targets, all of which are to be achieved by 2030. Many of these targets, which are all connected, impact how we manage and interact with the built environment. The SGDs were launched in 2016 and a recent HSBC survey shows that, of the ten nations analysed, support is strongest in the UK. More than a third of UK firms feel they have a significant role to play – the highest rate in Europe.

“It’s encouraging to see that UK businesses are showing leadership to become more sustainable and make a long-term difference to their customers, employees and the local communities in which they operate,” HSBC’s head of sustainable finance Rob King said.

Many UK businesses struggle to turn environmental ambitions into action

The HSBC Global Navigator Survey gathered responses from over 1000 UK businesses, enquiring about their motivation for implementing sustainable business practices. More than a quarter (26 per cent) said that taking action on sustainability helps them to improve operational efficiency and meet regulatory standards. Yet as businesses incorporate sustainability goals into their strategic objectives the Global Navigator Survey highlights that many are struggling to turn environmental ambition into actions. Indeed 96% of respondents want to improve their environmental and social practices but most are struggling to deliver this change. Often due to lack of funding or resources.

So how can those businesses that have a responsibility for managing our built environment turn sustainable aspirations into corporate action? How can Energy Managers and Sustainability champions get senior level buy-in for the sustainability strategies they want to implement?

Gathering meaningful metrics for tracking progress against your sustainability goals

Gathering energy data to measure the performance of your building estate is standard. But what if you were able to intelligently interpret big building data? To overlay energy usage against occupancy usage. To deliver reports to gain stakeholder support for fact-based sustainability strategies.

Checkit offers a single platform for building portfolios with different installed technologies. A technology independent platform it can be rolled out rapidly across whole estates into existing infrastructure. For example, our work with Broadgate Estates, demonstrates how savings can be achieved by combining data from the Energy Management System (EMS) and the Building Management System (BMS). With Checkit Broadgate Estates were able to review plant performance and remotely oversee operational characteristics, in particular where ‘best practice’ and ‘housekeeping’ measures needed alignment. Energy threshold alarms are then set to ensure that energy savings do not drift overtime due to ad hoc changes and interventions.

Checkit and our engineers enable both existing and new buildings to integrate onto a single platform for data monitoring and management. Checkit makes sense of various data inputs giving knowledge for strategic decisions. The reporting functions in Checkit smooths the process for gaining stakeholder and occupancy buy-in for meeting sustainability goals, with clear visualizations and metrics to measure progress.

Measurement of all connected buildings can be used to promote good practice, store historical data for comparisons, highlight areas to focus and provide a positive competitive atmosphere for improvement. It is also possible to automate occupier billing packs to show consumption, cost and carbon impact.

Checkit helps buildings and Portfolios interact with people, systems and external factors affecting them. The output of this is that not only can you have visibility of energy usage you can also identify opportunities for achieving sustainability goals. Importantly Checkit uses its embedded PROVE IT mentality for measurement of key performance indicators, these can be automatically saved and made widely available to all users, to promote competition and ultimately drive down irresponsible sustainability behavior.

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