Editor: Net-zero or zero-carbon is a bold but necessary ambition for us all if we are going to safeguard our environment for future generations (‘London office construction plummets 50%’).

Smart sensors

Smart sensors

Source: Shutterstock/ TierneyMJ

New investment in carbon-capture technology will also remove 10m/t of CO2 from the UK environment every year up to 2030. Based on data produced by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, every 1,000 sq ft of office space used is the equivalent to a carbon footprint of 91t C02 a year.

If workplace sensor technology was applied across all workplaces in the UK, more than 2.4m tonnes of C02 could be saved annually. That represents nearly 25% of the government’s own carbon-capture target and is equivalent to nearly 1% of the total carbon footprint of the entire UK.

As we continue to balance homeworking with the office, there will be opportunities for consolidation in commercial office footprints, especially when the implications of social distancing rules and new trends in office attendances are established. Workplace sensor technology has a significant role to play in achieving net zero.

Our data has shown that organisations can better utilise their workspace through the use of occupancy sensors. This typically delivers our clients a 20% space-saving opportunity across national and global real estate. There is more than 354m sq ft of office space across the UK, with a very small fraction of that sensor technology-enabled.

If property owners, landlords and occupiers invest in sensor technology, there is an opportunity to save more than 25m sq ft of space, equivalent to a £4bn-plus annual cost-saving to UK businesses. Furthermore, workplace sensors now record a host of environmental conditions, such as C02 and air quality, to safeguard the health and wellbeing of staff and reduce the likelihood of transmission of workplace viruses and bugs.

It is vital that green office technology is seriously considered to achieve net zero and offering green technology loans to businesses that occupy offices is a sound way to achieve this.

Robin Davies, business development director, Freespace