An Invitation from our CEO: Join us at COP26!

After a year of waiting, we are now mere days away from the much anticipated global climate summit, COP26.  Between 31st October - 12th November, global leaders will descend on Glasgow - the city where it all began for IES - with the aim of accelerating action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Widely considered as a last chance to put the world on track to meet climate targets, this generation defining event could signal make or break for the 2050 Race to Zero.

Those of you familiar with IES and my career will know that I started my journey here in Glasgow at the University of Strathclyde in 1979 when I began my PhD work in detailed computer simulation of renewable energy devices. With the 1973 energy crisis, the three-day week, power cuts and predictions that oil would run out by 2000 all high in the public’s consciousness, I set out on a mission to create a set of commercially viable simulation tools capable of designing buildings to be more energy efficient and conserve fossil fuels.

Since launching IES in 1994, my initial vision for IES has become increasingly relevant in the face of climate change, which has come to be one of the most pressing issues facing humanity today. Energy efficiency in buildings is such a crucial part of the decarbonisation process, helping to cut CO2 emissions, conserve the planet’s natural resources and preserve the environment for future generations. Given that the built environment accounts for almost 40% of global emissions, and we, as humans, spend an average 90% of our time within buildings, the vital importance of decarbonising our built environment should not be underestimated.

I’m proud of the progress that we, as a company, have made since then and we continue to push the boundaries of simulation and digital twin technology, providing world class solutions to help analyse and take action towards decarbonising buildings, campuses, portfolios and cities around the world.

However, as much progress as we have made, we can’t tackle the issue alone. We need every stakeholder from across the whole spectrum of the built environment to stand up now and play their part in the race to zero-carbon.

With that, I invite you to take a look at our packed COP26 schedule where we have a whole range of in-person and virtual events designed to be inclusive and to engage everyone that has an interest in how we work towards a decarbonised built environment. I strongly encourage you, no matter where in the world you are, to engage with our virtual programme, which kicks off next Tuesday 2nd November at 4pm GMT with a live panel session in partnership with The B1M, the Centre for Digital Built Britain, Mott MacDonald, SSE and the University of Glasgow

We’re also proud to be part of a coalition of almost 100 partner organisations to be supporting the delivery of Build Better Now, a virtual exhibition and online events series to highlight the Built Environment’s role in climate change mitigation, and we will also be running a virtual exhibition space with Scottish Enterprise.

If you are in Glasgow during COP26, be sure to head over to the University of Strathclyde to take a look at our exhibit with After the Pandemic, which is free and open to all. Alternatively, if you’ve been lucky enough to secure Green or Blue Zone access, you can visit SSE’s Smart Cities Augmented Reality Platform in the Green Zone or the SSE Recharge Lounge in the Blue Zone, where in both places you will be able to explore a live digital twin of the COP26 venue – the SEC Campus – developed by IES and SSE, to show what future net zero solutions for the campus could look like.

Through our presence on the GlobalABC Buildings Pavilion, I will be in the Blue Zone throughout COP26 and available to meet with any fellow delegates or press that wish to do so - please just contact our team to arrange this. If you are in the Blue Zone, please do come along to my presentation on Tuesday 9th November, which will be held in the Buildings Pavilion Boardroom (Hall 4 of the SEC Centre) between 10:30 – 11:00, GMT, where I’ll be speaking on the topic of Digitalisation for Unlocking a Decarbonised Built Environment. Anyone who is unable to attend this session in person can also tap in to the Buildings Pavilion live stream, which is open to all, and will also be broadcast on the BuildingToCOP, We Mean Business and GlobalABC websites.

As you can see, we have a lot going on, so please keep an eye on our COP26 page over the coming days/weeks for details of our full programme and latest resources.

While the current global outlook may be bleak, I am hopeful that we can make the most of this opportunity to unite the world in the face of climate change and start working together to preserve our planet for generations yet to come. I look forward to sharing our insights and solutions, and to exchanging ideas with many of you over the weeks ahead.

Let’s start building a net-zero future now.

For all the latest COP26 updates from IES, please visit our webpage, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and engage with us using #IESCOP26.