Insight 11 November 2021

Learn how technology plays a part in decarbonising built environments with Paul Taylor

What’s your name and role at Mitie?

I’m Paul Taylor, Head of Reporting and Analytics at Mitie. I work with our customers to develop their decarbonisation ambitions to develop their net zero strategies. 

What are the biggest challenges of organisations regarding sustainability in the built environment, and how can they overcome them?   

Decarbonising the built environment is a must for organisation to achieve net zero. Around 70% of the operational emissions from buildings are generated through heating, yet only 5% of heat used in the buildings comes from low carbon sources.  

Organisations can take action by replacing traditional heating assets with low carbon alternatives such as air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, and procuring renewable electricity to decarbonise their heating systems. Further progress with energy efficiency can be achieved through installing measures such as LED lighting and SMART technology solutions. However, capital budget allocation and capital budgeting cycles can be a barrier to action.  

What is Mitie doing to support its customers?   

Plan Zero built environment consultants work with organisations to review and evaluate their facilities to identify opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint. Once agreed, our experts in the built environment design, install and maintain the solutions. Our technology agnostic approach means we select and optimise the solutions based on the customer’s needs. Our results speak for themselves, having saved over 353,000 tonnes of carbon in the last decade.  

How can organisations afford to take action?   

We recognise that the projects required to decarbonise are typically costly to deploy. We have launched new solutions, which mean decarbonisation is an affordable and even saving cost-saving opportunity for businesses. Our new BoltONs deliver fully funded project solutions. Our partnership with Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDCL) helps fund low carbon equipment and technology as part of our guaranteed energy and carbon saving services.  

What’s the future of sustainability, reaching net zero and why?  

The electrification of fleet and heating systems will play a critical role in every organisation’s journey to net zero. However, the mass migration to electric heating systems and zero emission vehicles will cause a significant increase in demand for power and poses a challenge for businesses looking to draw more heavily from the national grid.  

It’s crucial that organisations recognise the additional connectivity and power supply needed when planning their net zero strategies. Our recent acquisition of Rock Power Connections means we can assist customers to address this challenge, installing new grid connections, developing electrical infrastructure and delivering high voltage supplies.

Which highlights from COP26 stood out for you so far?

Making clean technology affordable has been high on the agenda throughout COP26. If this ambition is met and clean technology does indeed become the ‘go-to’ this will have an incredibly positive impact on global emissions. However, much needs to be done for these technologies to become the ‘norm’.  

The new requirement for all financial institutions and listed companies to publish clear deliverable plans on how will transition to net zero is also a positive step.  Detailed plans, such as our Plan Zero Pathways, meet this requirement and demonstrate that each organisation has a deliverable strategy to achieve zero and will trigger many to start acting much sooner than they may have done otherwise.  

There is always a frustration that we need to go further and faster than governments around the globe can manage in their negotiations. Mitie wants to support customers to do that.  

Contact us to discuss how we can make net zero happen for your organisation.

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