Microsoft and Johnson Controls highlight the role of data in journey to net zero

Microsoft and Johnson Controls highlight the role of data in journey to net zero

JCI’s Ben Brown discussing how OpenBlue Enterprise Manager works with Microsoft Azure to operationalise building management

Firms are empowering organisations to transform the way they operate buildings and increase sustainability through technology

Rebecca Gibson |

Data will be key to helping organisations reduce their ecological footprint in the built environment and accelerate their journey to net-zero operations, according to Microsoft and Johnson Controls (JCI) executives speaking at a joint event in May 2023.

Hosted at the Microsoft Technology Centre in Sydney Australia, the event highlighted how Microsoft and JCI are combining their expertise and technologies to empower organisations to transform the way they operate buildings to make them smarter, healthier, sustainable and more comfortable for occupants.

During the event, Microsoft’s worldwide enablement lead for sustainability Rik Irons-Mclean explained how both Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability and Microsoft Sustainability Manager enable organisations to automatically capture the data and insights they need to efficiently record, report on, and reduce the environmental footprint of their real estate assets.

Meanwhile, JCI’s senior director for Microsoft Global Alliance Ben Brown detailed the key features of JCI OpenBlue Enterprise Manager (OBEM), which is built on Microsoft Azure and uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics to operationalise building management. He explained how the suite of applications help organisations to take data driven action to optimise and reports on emissions, energy efficiency, asset performance, occupant experience, maintenance operations, building health and other critical parameters.

In addition, Microsoft’s cross solutions team member Mike Heald demonstrated how integrating Microsoft Sustainability Manager with OBEM allows businesses to create more efficient building management systems and gain continuous visibility into their water data and emissions across all three scopes of impact. Organisations can use this data, which is delivered via a single dashboard, to reliably report on environmental impact and progress in near real time, as well as to develop and scale sustainability initiatives across their business.

During the event, JCI and Microsoft also shared case studies to highlight how businesses worldwide are using their combined technologies to transform the way they operate their buildings, while decreasing costs, boosting efficiency and more.

For example, the real estate and facilities team at Microsoft’s headquarters in Beijing, China, migrated applications and data from the power supply, building controls and energy management systems to Microsoft Azure and combined it with OBEM. This has helped Microsoft to achieve 27.9 per cent energy savings, increase key equipment uptime to 98 per cent and gain an energy saving endorsement and financial subsidy by the Beijing Municipal Government and the Haidian District Government.

Meanwhile, UK-based real-estate investment trust Derwent London is using OBEM to enable it to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. JCI has linked all of Derwent London’s sensors, meters and systems to the cloud via OBEM, enabling it to consolidate data about energy usage, asset performance, indoor air quality, maintenance and space use from a selection of its major buildings.

“Together, Microsoft and JCI’s solutions are helping organisations to reduce energy consumption, emissions and operating costs of their buildings, while making them safer, healthier and more comfortable for occupants,” said Brown. “We’re also empowering them to turn real-estate assets into integral components of their environmental, social and governance strategies so they can achieve their net-zero emissions goals.”

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