One of the biggest challenges facing us as a society is the care of our planet. When it comes to this each small step makes a difference, we need to be aware that by acting responsibly in our homes and businesses we can help protect the environment.
You’ve got the energy, you’ve got the power. The European Sustainable Energy Week was celebrated under this slogan last June. A global initiative whose objective is to organise acts and activities on the subject of energy efficiency, renewable energies and the new role of the public with regard to energy.
Slowing climate change and protecting the environment are two of the biggest challenges facing humanity right now and we must be aware that we can all do our bit to care for the planet. With this in mind, for several years Europe has been taking coordinated steps towards a more sustainable society. All of the countries in the Union are applying new energy improvement plans and policies, like in Spain where the government has introduced a programme of grants to encourage small, medium and large businesses in the industrial sector to reduce their energy consumption. This way, companies who are considering implementing a technological upgrade of equipment and industrial processes, or equally installing sustainable energy management systems, will benefit from this plan.
In Catalonia, according to the ministry’s data, the administration has designated a total of almost 50 million euros for this programme, and together with those of the state these grants increase to 307 million from the national energy efficiency fund.
At Withfor it was always clear to us that we should work with energy efficiency criteria from the outset. Through Hola Luz, our provider, we have made a clear commitment to improving energy efficiency in our facilities, using 100% renewable energy. At the same time, we work to promote sustainable transport between employees and clients. Among other sustainable measures, we also encourage the use of recyclable and biodegradable materials in our day-to-day business. We are convinced that with this attitude we contribute a little grain of sand to the fight against climate change and towards the improvement of the environment.
Responsible energy use is beneficial for the planet and also ultimately for the business and for it's employees. A simple but clear example: if we use an energy efficient light bulb, we use between 50% and 80% less energy than with a traditional bulb. They are small gestures, but very important ones.
Greener buildings, a future commitment
The large European municipalities are fighting together to reduce their emissions. Until recently, the action was mainly centred around reducing traffic, encouraging public transport and sustainable transport. Now, Europe is fixed on a new objective which puts the spotlight on the energy efficiency of both public and private buildings.
With this in mind, and alongside the plans aimed at businesses, all the large cities in the European Union are also working on a long term strategy to achieve energy rehabilitation within the building sector. In fact, as an objective for 2030, Europe has established the improvement by at least 32.5% of energy efficiency, with respect to the emissions levels data collected in 2007.
According to a study carried out by Greenward Partners, currently in Spain four out of every five buildings are inefficient from the energy rating perspective, and more than half the housing was built before 1980. To rectify the situation, the government is applying the Integrated National Plan for Energy and Climate (PNEIC), with the aim of transforming the national building stock into highly energy efficient and decarbonised real estate by 2050. How does it want to achieve this? By facilitating, through economic subsidies and administrative assistance, the renovation of the existing buildings into buildings with almost zero consumption.
This paradigm shift clearly indicates that, now and even more so in years to come, energy efficiency will be one of the most attractive sectors. According to the Association of Infrastructure Contractor and Concessionaires (SEOPAN), Spain calculates that the investments needed to achieve the objectives will exceed 40 billion euros over the next ten years. It is clear: with policies aimed at concrete objectives and investment in new professional skills, clean energy can offer new economic opportunities; as well as being the most direct route towards a greener and more sustainable planet.
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