Energy efficiency in buildings is the most effective measure to curb greenhouse gas emissions

Buildings account for around 40% of the global energy demand and therefore represent a great but unleashed potential of gaining major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This is one of the main points which will be put forward by Jørgen Tang-Jensen, CEO of the VELUX Group, at the main business event World Climate Summit to be held on 17 November in Warsaw parallel with COP19.

"Energy efficiency in buildings should be the first area to look at when identifying effective policy measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions at national and regional levels," says Jørgen Tang-Jensen.

The recommendation is in line with conclusions presented by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which has pointed out that the industry, building and transport sectors are the policy areas where the largest and most efficient reductions can be achieved. If a full-scale effort was accomplished within these sectors, emissions could be halved already by 2020, concludes the IEA report "Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map".

Climate change is also about improving people's health and well-being

Sustainability is an integral part of the VELUX Group, its business model and products. Along with a number of global corporations, the VELUX Group will be expressing, also at World Climate Summit, its full support to reach a globally binding agreement at COP21 in Paris in 2015.

"Addressing climate change is, however, not only a question of curbing greenhouse gas emissions but also of creating solutions that improve people's health and well-being and make a difference in people's everyday life," emphasises Jørgen Tang-Jensen.

The strategic program, Sustainable Living in Buildings, is the VELUX Group's response to meet the challenges facing future generations, including climate changes and the resource and energy crisis.

"Our experience with creating better living environments for people all over the world and our sustainable demonstration houses show that multiple benefits can be achieved from building and renovating sustainably. These benefits are improved energy performance, better health and increased work productivity," continues Jørgen Tang-Jensen.

A study by Copenhagen Economics also outlines that the annual gross benefit to society from energy efficient renovation of buildings could amount to €104-175 billion within the EU in 2020 depending on the level of investments made between 2012 and 2020. Health benefits from improved indoor climate is estimated represent €42-88 billion per year of the total amount.

"We have to look at the whole lifecycle of buildings and apply a more holistic approach when we seek to optimise their energy performance so they do not end up being too insulated and with insufficient daylight and fresh air – this is how we can help create a better living and shape a sustainable future," says Jørgen Tang-Jensen.