Building a more sustainable workplace one step at a time

Sustainability, and more specifically, reducing the CO2 emissions from the built environment, is one of the core values of CIM’s business
Building a more sustainable workplace one step at a time

Paul Walsh: 'Large indigenous and multinational companies in Ireland are tasked with reducing operational costs as well as reducing their CO2 footprint.'

Undertaking a recruitment drive in the midst of a global pandemic speaks well of a business in the right place at the right time. 

Announcing plans to add a further 85 people to its team in Ireland over the next 36 months, CIM has already completed hiring in EMEA roles in sales, marketing, and operations.

“Since the advent of Covid-19, we have experienced a significant upturn in demand from building owners and managers looking to improve their operations — particularly in the area of sustainability,” Paul Walsh, general manager of CIM EMEA, explains. 

“We are currently very focused on supporting clients with buildings running at reduced capacity, ensuring energy is only being consumed in the areas and at the times needed.”

Sustainability, and more specifically, reducing the CO2 emissions from the built environment, is one of the core values of CIM’s business.

“It is a key driver for a lot of the Fortune 500 companies operating in Ireland, many of whom CIM is lucky enough to call clients,” says Paul. 

“We see the projections for our business growing exponentially as these companies continue to prioritise technology like ours, which enables their buildings, and their factories, to become more sustainable.”

The company’s building analytics software helps run large buildings at optimum performance via their PEAK platform, which integrates building intelligence, machine learning and mechanical engineering to improve efficiency, sustainability and comfort across property portfolios. 

The smartest way to work towards carbon neutral goals is to optimise equipment, and then increase alternative sources of energy.

"This approach ensures that all the energy consumed is used as wisely as possible, with zero waste," Paul says.

Owners and operators of every building type across all sectors are struggling to implement a cost-effective sustainability strategy, he says. 

“Using a proven technology like PEAK to optimise how existing buildings operate is the first step in any sustainability/carbon reduction roadmap.

“CIM has taken a unique approach to our building analytics software, which we believe makes us the best not just in Ireland, but in the world, at making it easy and fast to uncover the root cause and impact of building problems, and to subsequently help our clients to easily prioritise and resolve these issues.”

Holistic data view

While CIM is 100% focused on large buildings, its software is not limited to a property type or sector — and can operate across a wide range including manufacturing facilities, commercial offices and retail buildings.

“Our platform provides a valuable IP reservoir, and for companies that own and operate different types of buildings, this holistic data view enables them to fully understand and implement a cost effective sustainable strategy," Paul says.

Being independent, CIM has no alignment to an incumbent or existing technology, with recommendations and insights based solely on the building data: “This, in turn, allows us to guarantee speed to value — so much so that our clients are seeing six-digit savings in the first six months."

Data can be used to optimise how buildings operate. 
Data can be used to optimise how buildings operate. 

The general area of ‘innovative building analytics’ is under-utilised in Ireland, in comparison to other countries, and presents an opportunity for building owners and managers to benefit.

“There is a realisation that data can be used to optimise how buildings operate, the challenge for building owners is what tools to utilise to distill this data into actionable information.”

Witnessing a number of Irish universities starting research into the area of data analytics, CIM aims to partner with the more dynamic third level institutions “to move the needle” to help deliver transformative change to the European buildings they operate in.

“Large indigenous and multinational companies in Ireland are tasked with reducing operational costs as well as reducing their CO2 footprint.

"They are attempting to do this during a global pandemic, where occupancy and demand is reducing, and availability of capital is increasingly more difficult.

"Our PEAK platform uses an innovative building analytics engine to allow our clients to drive operational efficiencies for no capital outlay, simultaneously delivering operational expenses savings and CO2 emission reductions.”

Growth plans

Given that up to 40 per cent of all the world’s greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the built environment, the coming years will see a period of continual expansion for CIM.

“Software and data analytics solutions have only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to optimising the existing built environment,” Paul explains.

He said countries that have signed up to the Paris 2015 Agreement are quickly realising that their binding targets will not be achievable unless the emissions from the built environment are addressed, and significantly reduced, in the next three to five years.

“CIM’s business will expand as countries, and companies, strive to deliver these operational efficiencies and we see this growth across all the regions we operate in — specifically EMEA and APAC.”

Now that the US has reaffirmed its commitment to the Paris Agreement, CIM is planning to use Ireland as a launch pad into the US market before 2023. 

While the last 12 months have seen many business globally challenged to cope with the pandemic reality, CIM has continued to expand to meet demand.

Our business has grown by 35% during Covid-19 as building owners are looking to innovative technologies, such as data analytics, to enable them to do more with less, and to ensure low occupancy buildings are consuming the lowest possible energy.

Similarly, as buildings repopulate, it is important that increased fresh air intake is carefully managed to ensure a safe environment, Paul says.

“We have already used the opportunity of buildings being at low occupancy to eliminate all the waste from the large plant and equipment.

"This will ensure that the building dynamically responds to occupancy levels, as the number of people returning to the building increases.”

Paul sees the current workforce expansion of 85 as a probable beginning to further growth in the years ahead: “I have been lucky to attract a stellar management team to work with me in CIM EMEA, and with their collective assistance, our business has the potential for exponential growth, and with that comes more jobs.”

Beyond Covid

Looking beyond Covid-19, he sees a greater environmental outlook and a more cognisant awareness of our carbon footprint.

“I feel that Ireland and the Irish people are incredibly resilient," he says. "This pandemic has forced us to stop and take stock of the things that mean so much to us — our families, our health, and nature.”

Consumers have immense power to influence how the buildings that we occupy for work, or home, can be made more efficient, he says.

“The challenge for the economy will be to maintain Ireland’s position as an attractive place for foreign direct investment.

"A huge opportunity for Ireland is to not only deliver on the sustainable agenda the Government has implemented, but to surpass it.

"This will position Ireland Inc as a sustainable base to do business, give us a USP, and drive our economic recovery.”

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