Several years ago, the UK-GBC put out a challenge to building owners, homeowners, government agencies, and businesses: cut carbon emissions by 50% within the built environment by 2020. Mitsubishi Electric was among the first to respond to the challenge, committing to reduce carbon emissions by 50% through their Green Gateway Vision.
In a speech at the 2009 UK-GBC’s annual conference, Paul King urged the building industry to recognise the role it plays in meeting UK targets for carbon cuts by 2020, saying:
“We drastically need to cut emissions from all sectors, but the built environment offers the best cost-effective opportunity to do that. We have the technology and the know-how in the industry, but we haven’t managed to mainstream these yet. I do not underestimate the size of the challenge, but I believe that by working together with government, industry and building occupiers, we can deliver cuts of 50 per cent by 2020.”
Their Green Gateway philosophy fundamentally transforms how Mitsubishi thinks about ventilation, heating and cooling, and incorporates zero carbon technologies in order to achieve their goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% from their buildings. They have been deploying equipment and technologies that already exist today, such as air and ground-source heat pumps, heat recovery ventilation, passive ventilation, solar PV, and more. They believe that using this philosophy a 50% reduction in emissions is actually very easy – especially in existing buildings – and that even more is possible with the right designs.
As part of their goals, Mitsubishi is looking to also reduce energy use for product production by 30%, product use by 30%, and foster environmental awareness. To this end, they have developed a Green Gateway 360 model which has seven touch points which encapsulate the lifespan of products and systems – pre-purchase, post-purchase, during life, and end of life:
UK-GBC released a video recently showcasing Mitsubishi as a Member Case Study, but there are others who have accepted the challenge including Keepmoat. They’ve refurbished two estates in Daneville and Florence Melly, which have achieved 70% reductions in carbon emissions. The refurbished former BT building in Manchester City Centre is another case study. It achieved a BREEAM Post Construction Certificate of “Excellent”, which will significantly reduce their carbon footprint.