‘Buildings are key to protecting the climate’

‘Buildings are key to protecting the climate’

‘Buildings are key to protecting the climate’Bayer MaterialScience, a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials, is pursuing climate goals that cover all business activities and is pressing ahead with innovative solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Isaac Emmanuel – Head – Commercial Business Development, Social Business Initiatives & Advocacy, Polyurethanes, Bayer MaterialScience talks about the need to create pioneering ‘eco-buildings’ with Renu Rajaram.

Excerpts from the interview:

Tell us about Bayer’s recent projects and products?
Two key prongs of Bayer’s commitment to sustainability are improving resource and energy efficiency and finding solutions for the challenges posed by the consequences of climate change.
Using a bundle of measures launched in 2007, the Group is pursuing climate goals that cover all business activities and is pressing ahead with innovative solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This commitment is being shown on three fronts.
• More efficient production processes: reduction of emissions in our own production operations by increasing energy and resource efficiency and the development and use of new technologies
• Market solutions: reduction of emissions through the use of our products, particularly in building insulation, and lightweight automobile construction and agriculture
• Supporting activities: reduction of emissions in other areas of the company such as the vehicle fleet, the use of information technology and the active involvement of employees

What is your outlook on Green Buildings?
Buildings are the key to protecting the climate. They are responsible for about 40 per cent of global energy consumption and more than a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. That means there is a lot of potential for reducing them.

There is no doubt that ‘eco-buildings’ are not a passing fad. Architects who create pioneering buildings, project developers who manage construction projects, investors and, last but not least, house owners all have one thing in common: they want innovative building solutions and services which improve the energy efficiency and environmental impact of their buildings.
There are lots of products that already exist. What matters is to combine them – for example to take cooling insulation panels made of polyurethanes and bring them together with renewable energy solutions such as photovoltaic and the know-how to erect a building according to the course of the sun.

What are the major challenges faced by Indian green building movement? Could you please suggest few solutions?
In a global economy where competition is getting stronger, companies have to increasingly deliver what the market needs, at a cost the market can afford. While companies such as Bayer are keen to innovate in this area, there must be a market demand or our innovation efforts are wasted. The more society challenges industry and is prepared to reward it, the more industry has to respond. But again, there has to be a global demand.
The role of Government is critical in driving the change as well. Where Governments are keen to intervene, you will see greater innovation in this area; but where Governments are less intrusive in this area, new developments will not take root.

How should ‘sustainable building models’ be introduced in metros considering the resource shortages?
The EcoCommercial Building (ECB) program is one such solution which brings together a unique network of different experts.
However, a Public Private Partnership model would provide further impetus to the green building commitment across the country.

What is your view on Sustainable Building Materials? Please brief on the latest green products introduced by your company in the Indian market?
Sustainability is achieving commercial success through solid business models in a way that meets the needs of our employees, society, and protects the environment and natural resources. Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Sustainable Building Materials are those with the least embodied energy and have multiple life cycle benefits compared to their production costs. They must contribute to the social, environmental and economic betterment of mankind.
The global EcoCommercial Building program of Bayer MaterialScience is part of the Bayer sustainability program. It offers decision-makers in the construction industry a unique portfolio of services and material solutions for energy-efficient and cost-effective building. As part of this program, Bayer MaterialScience is working with a network of members from various disciplines to support professionals such as architects, project managers, construction managers, developers and managers of larger companies in the creation of public and commercial buildings that far outstrip previous sustainability standards. The services on offer range from energy efficiency assessments during the planning phase and the use of environmentally friendly materials to the employment of renewable energies.