Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) are designed to create comfort and a safe and healthy indoor environment. However, these systems consume approximately 40% of all the energy used in buildings to accomplish this. We estimate that two-thirds of the energy is used for cooling and one-third for heating.
Building automation and control systems not only optimise the parameters of indoor comfort but can also substantially reduce energy consumption. As a global market leader in damper actuators, control valves, sensors, and meters for the control of HVAC systems, we defined a goal in 2021 related to the use phase of our field devices to help us fulfill our mission to “Create Healthier Indoor Comfort with Less Energy” with ever greater leverage.
Our Goal is to double the total avoided greenhouse gas emissions from our field devices sold, from 8.2 to 16.4 million tons by 2030 (basis 2021, measured in million tons CO2e). In 2022, based on our energy-impact model, we have contributed with our field devices to avoiding around 8.4 million t CO2e.
Learn more about our sustainability goals in our annual report:
Quantifying our impact
At Belimo, sustainability goes beyond reducing the carbon footprint of our own business processes along the value chain.
By increasing the energy-saving potential of our field devices, we effectively scale up our contribution to reducing energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions of HVAC systems.
To quantify the energy leverage of its field devices and assess their impact over the entire lifecycle of a typical HVAC system, Belimo established an impact model in 2019. The internally developed energy-impact model is used to quantify the greenhouse gas (GHG) impact of our field devices over their lifecycle in a typical HVAC system vs. the energy saving contribution and associated GHG emissions in a typical HVAC system. The model is structured along six phases of a device’s lifecycle, conservatively assumed to be 15 years, while actual Belimo field devices deliver for 20 years or more.
Step 1: Resources
The model considers “gray” energy content included in materials used to build a typical field device (steel, copper, aluminum, plastics, electronics, and cardboard).
Step 2: Manufacturing
Our model also considers the energy needed to manufacture, assemble, and test the field devices:
Our new goal is to achieve a 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in Belimo-owned buildings by 2025 (Hinwil and Danbury; as measured in CO2e relative to the 2019 output).
In 2022, we were able to implement energy-efficiency measures in our buildings in Hinwil and Danbury and switch to 100% renewable electricity in Hinwil. Combined, these measures allowed us to achieve savings of 38% compared to 2021 and to exceed the existing reduction target.
Step 3: Distribution
The model considers the average amount of transportation energy needed to deliver a Belimo field device to the customer.
Step 4: Operation
The model calculates the energy a Belimo field device uses during operation, taking into account the energy used in standby mode and when it is actuated.
We are striving to further reduce energy consumption per field device in standby and operation modes (both measured in kWh/year per Newton meter of torque).
Step 5: Energy savings
Even though typical HVAC systems operate much the same across the world, significant variations arise due to differences between climate zones and power generation. Annual energy savings are therefore calculated based on the consumption of a common HVAC system that operates with a global average heating and cooling load profile and with ordinary electrical power consumption.
We are striving to increase the overall savings factor of our field devices in their applications and to improve the tracking of the CO2 impacts of retrofit projects in the future.
Our goal is to double total avoided GHG emissions from our field devices sold in HVAC applications by 2030 (basis 2021; measured in CO2e).
In 2022, based on our energy-impact model, we have contributed with our field devices to avoiding around 8.4 million tCO2e.
Step 6: Recycling
Belimo strives to minimise waste generated at the end of life of its products. This often coincides with the end of life of an entire HVAC system and is difficult to manage and track.
The commitment to sustainable buildings
A showpiece of energy transparency and efficiency
To optimise the HVAC system at the Belmo headquarters, we went the extra mile with an innovatively designed and controlled cooling plant that showcases our energy-efficient HVAC field devices and the energy transparency they enable.
In 2018, we began the planning of a new chilled water supply plant. Its goal was to address demanding and persistent comfort issues in the main production building in Hinwil (Switzerland) and to replace the 18-year-old plant. At the same time, we kicked off a move to a new building automation solution.
Belimo's lighthouse project in India
The Mumbai hub, our 3,800 square metre Indian headquarters, was first conceptualised in 2016 as part of our 2030 accelerated growth strategy. The building, built as a showcase for state-of-the-art HVAC solutions and sustainable design, was an exciting opportunity to design an eco-friendly structure from the ground up.
The building comprises office and factory space, including a Belimo customer experience center, created to actively support the customer journey toward creating healthier indoor comfort with less energy. It also offers OEMs and academics a venue to collaboratively design, build, and test the next generation of Belimo products.
One of the largest solar power generating systems in Connecticut, USA
The 876 kW solar power plant at the Belimo Americas headquarters, which incorporates 2192 high-output solar modules, has an annual output of around one megawatt hour of electricity. Used to offset a portion of Belimo’s energy needs with solar power, it will save 857 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the annual needs of around 100 homes in Connecticut.
Creating healthier indoor comfort with less energy
Buildings are responsible for 40% of global energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions. And because we spend up to 90% of our time indoors, they powerfully impact our comfort, health, and overall well-being. At Belimo, we have made it our mission to create healthier, more comfortable indoor environments that consume less energy. With a product portfolio naturally geared toward addressing several UN Sustainable Development Goals, we enable highly energy-efficient building automation and control systems (BACs) that cut the power requirements of HVAC solutions by up to 55%.