Holistic view of the green transition
Copenhagen must be climate neutral by 2025. The municipality is thus working purposefully to reduce its energy consumption, increase sustainable energy production and convert mobility to be more green.
Susanne Noer Brandt works in the municipality's project Energispring where 44 partners in the construction and real estate industry collaborate to implement energy savings in the city's properties.
− We help building owners, building administrators, interest groups and a wide range of other actors acquire knowledge and tools to reduce energy consumption. We arrange thematic meetings on relevant topics and provide concrete suggestions on how they can save energy, she says.
One of the tools the municipality uses to inspire partners and subcontractors to accelerate the green transition is a benchmarking system. The energy consumption of the individual buildings is continuously recorded, so that building owners and administrators in the Energispring project can compare themselves and live up to the milestones of gradually reducing energy consumption.
− There’s a lot to gain from looking at the actual operation of the buildings, says Susanne Noer Brandt. We have seen examples of energy pouring out of some buildings because the settings of the heating equipment are completely wrong. So one step is to get those things in place. Then you can look at energy renovations, new windows and better insulation. Only then do we begin to look at the behaviour of residents.
With an MSc in Engineering (Sustainable Design) from AAU in 2020, Susanne Noer Brandt brings with her a broad knowledge of solutions to various climate problems. However, what is particularly beneficial in her work is the focus of her studies on getting different actors to work together to achieve a common goal.
− We can't solve climate problems with the way things work now, and we can't solve these problems alone. We need to involve the people who have the buildings. They are the ones consuming energy. We need to partner with them and constantly think in an innovative and more sustainable way.
The ability to get many actors to work in the same direction is something that Annette Egetoft, Project Manager for Energispring's secretariat in the City of Copenhagen, highlights in her sustainable designer.
Susanne Noer Brandt also feels that she has ended up in the right place: - I am trained to work with many different actors to develop sustainable systemic solutions, so I feel that working in the City of Copenhagen's climate department is spot-on, she says.