Building an energy-efficient future through chemistry

Projections currently estimate that 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by the year 2050. As urban areas become more condensed and our population grows, building efficiency becomes an increasingly necessary priority to the larger energy world.

The United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative aims to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030. Led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the initiative has three primary objectives:

  • Ensure access to modern energy services around the world
  • Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
  • Double the share of renewables in the global energy mix

In connection with these efforts, the Institute for Building Efficiency, an initiative of Johnson Controls, released a recent study on “Driving Transformation to Energy Efficient Buildings,” which highlights the various benefits to more efficient building, from social and economic development to environmental gains.

Increased building efficiency would be largely impossible without the products and innovations of chemistry. Furthermore, policies are being proposed to promote heightened building and industrial efficiency.

On June 19, ACC president and CEO Cal Dooley joined Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Rob Portman and other supporters of their energy efficiency bill, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000). One focus of the bipartisan legislation is the energy used by buildings, which accounts for 40 percent of the energy used in the United States. Under Shaheen-Portman, legislators aim to have zero net energy in new buildings by the year 2030.

ACC is working with the International Council of Chemical Associations on a series of “roadmaps” to improve energy efficiency globally.  One of the roadmaps focuses on energy efficiency in buildings and may be released later this year.

From supporting building energy codes to developing innovative products like building insulation that saves up to 40 times the energy used to create it, chemistry helps enable building efficiency in the United States and around the globe.

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