Carbon dioxide (CO2) : Definition

20 February 2024
2 min

What is CO2?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an odourless, colourless, inert and non-toxic gas. It is predominant in the Earth's atmosphere and is an essential component of the carbon cycle. CO2, produced by the respiration of living organisms, is a necessary resource for plant photosynthesis: living organisms convert oxygen into CO2, and plants convert the latter into oxygen.

It is crucial to develop strategies to reduce CO2 emissions and mitigate their effects on the climate, as the increase in this gas in the atmosphere, mainly due to the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation, is causing a greenhouse effect and contributing to global warming.

The heavy carbon footprint of construction

While the building and public works (BTP) sector is essential to the development and maintenance of our infrastructure, it is also a major source of CO2 emissions: it is estimated that it is responsible for almost 25% of CO2 emissions in France. Reducing the sources of emissions in this sector is therefore an urgent imperative in the fight against global warming. A clear distinction needs to be made between the construction, renovation, and deconstruction stages on the one hand, and the operation of buildings on the other.

Operating buildings and reducing emissions

The operation of a building, whether residential or commercial, is responsible for around 40% of CO2 emissions over the life of the building. To reduce these emissions significantly, a building technical and energy management strategy can be put in place, based on IoT devices, sub-meters, PLCs and energy management platforms, and/or supervisors.

This approach begins with an in-depth analysis of electricity and heating consumption, using data from sensors and meters to detect any energy loss in each room. It then integrates connectivity solutions to centralise data and control heating and lighting equipment, making it easier to implement low-carbon strategies.


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