Trackunit CEO Soeren Brogaard has urged the construction sector to take stronger action on 2050 decarbonization targets after the UN said CO2 emissions in the industry hit an all-time high in 2021.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a report at COP 27 that emissions rose 5% on 2020 to 10 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent, 2% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

“This report highlights that, despite a lot of good initiatives in the construction sector on sustainability, we still have a very long way to go if we are to make 2050 targets,” said Brogaard. “The industry needs to get even better at bringing emissions down and it will only do that if it puts sustainability right at the heart of everything it does.” 

UNEP said the sector made up more than 34% of global energy demand in 2021. In Europe, the buildings sector made up 40% of energy demand and 80% of that was met with fossil fuels.

“There are so many reasons to be concerned about this,” said Brogaard, who took the reins at the IoT services provider to the off-highway sector in construction in 2019. “There’s an obvious security concern as the energy crisis of the last few months has amply demonstrated, but we could also be doing more to shift the industry towards electrification and away from fossil fuels.”

Brogaard said telemetry service providers like Trackunit could play a role in helping the industry meet 2050 targets because they delivered advanced machine insights that could give users the ability to extend the life cycle of machines, utilize their tools more efficiently and cut out bad practices that fueled the CO2 emissions crisis.

“We’re at a crossroads,” Brogaard said. “We’re very active in the industry-wide push to eliminate downtime in construction and this is a potential opportunity to take the rich data we generate, share it, and democratize it so that our downtime targets can be reached.

“Through connectivity and the constant evolution of the ecosystem, we can consign downtime to the past,” said Brogaard. “Construction will emerge as a fitter, leaner industry and those 2050 targets can be attainable. I really believe we can do this, but it will take commitment, a lot of hard work and some tough decisions that need to be taken as soon as possible.”