Why Is Electrification The Future?

As the cost of renewable electricity and electric equipment continue to drop, organisations can capture cost-saving and GHG-emission-reduction opportunities by planning electrification strategies in their day-to-day operations. With noteworthy potential organisational benefits to decarbonise energy supply chains and mitigate emissions, electrification is an important strategy to reach net-zero goals.

Michelle Viret, Athena Blue Global’s Sustainability & Wellbeing Lead, shares her insights about the importance of electrification and the future benefits for your business.

There is an urgency in the market to understand what net-zero looks like for a business. We are well-aware that our world is on the precipice of irreparable damage and the time to act is now. In May 2021, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere reached a new all-time high of 419ppm; levels unseen in hundreds of thousands of years. To put this into perspective, those levels were 50% higher than only 50 years ago!

The built environment accounts for almost 40% of global CO2 emissions and up to 60-70% in our cities. Therefore, it’s not surprising that 79% of occupiers are expected to include carbon emission reduction targets as part of their corporate sustainability strategy by 2025.

We’re already seeing a glimpse into the future of what our lack of action can create; increased severe weather events, disrupted supply chains, flood, famine, and an impact on our personal health and wellbeing. These issues are impacting how we develop our cities, the buildings we build and how we operate our businesses. It’s imperative that we move away from traditional energy sources, namely natural gas and diesel, and towards more sustainable solutions based on renewables.  

The Australian electricity grid is decarbonising rapidly, while a large amount of the New Zealand power already comes from hydro, geothermal, wind and bioenergy. The case for switching to renewables, particularly electric, is simple and well documented in the GBCA’s ‘A practical Guide to Electrification’:

  • Climate Change: Electrification via renewables is a clear route to decarbonising our buildings. The technology is available, and both cost effective to install and operate.
  • Investor Benefit’s: Business investors are looking for business’s that are on a clear decarbonisation pathway and are more likely to access sustainable finance, where the terms of the loan are lined to the borrower’s ESG performance.
  • Resilience and Risk Reduction: A building retrofitted with renewable energy generation is already on track to be resilient and self-sufficient in the future.
  • Health and Safety Benefits: Building occupants benefit from healthier work and home environments as the air is free of toxic pollutants that increase the prevalence of asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Recent research has found that the effect of gas cooktops around children with asthma is equivalent to the impact of passive smoking.
  • Tenants and Consumers preferences toward net zero businesses are also increasing rapidly. An all-electric building is much more attractive to organisations and their consumers alike.

Moving forward, electrification is a critical pathway to decarbonise the construction of our buildings and the operation of our buildings alike. Whether you’re the CEO or a line manager, the time is now to come together with a set of common values to ensure the viability of your businesses and planet for the future.

At Athena Blue Global, we help organisations shape their best places to work. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you define your future way of working or make sense of your workplace needs, please get in touch with us here.


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