World Resources Institute and Johnson Controls launch BE initiative

Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, and the World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization, announced on Wednesday the creation of the Building Efficiency Initiative to support and accelerate energy efficiency action in cities.

The new initiative brings together Johnson Controls’ expertise as a leader in providing building efficiency solutions and WRI’s analytical excellence and on-the-ground experience to create more sustainable and prosperous cities.

Cities will account for 70 per cent of the world’s population by 2030, up from 54 per cent today. These urban residents will need safe and healthy urban workplaces and residences with the benefits energy efficiency provides such as cleaner air, lower energy bills and improved comfort.

“With the extraordinary global shift toward an urban environment, success in sustainable development will largely be determined in cities. This new initiative will focus on the opportunities and challenges that rapid urbanization presents, especially in major developing countries,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, president and CEO, WRI. “We are excited to work closely with Johnson Controls and other partners to develop innovative and practical recommendations on building efficiency that support a strong, low-carbon pathway.”

City planners have enormous opportunities to improve the design of tomorrow’s cities, including through more efficient buildings and energy systems. This is particularly urgent in major developing countries. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), more than half of the buildings that will exist in developing countries in 2050 have not yet been built. In China alone, only 40 per cent of the buildings in 2020 exist today. Improvements in efficiency can help avoid locking in high-carbon infrastructure, save money, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

“For more than four years, Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency has been providing information and analysis of technologies, policies, and practices for efficient, high performance buildings and energy systems,” said Chuck Harvey, vice president of Johnson Controls. “Working with World Resources Institute and its network of global partners, we can jointly scale innovative energy efficiency policies and solutions.”

The new Building Efficiency Initiative will support the Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform, under the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, which was announced last week at the UN Climate Summit. The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative has a goal of doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvement around the world by 2030. The Building Efficiency Initiative will engage partners, policymakers, and supporters to accelerate building efficiency action in cities around the world.

Jennifer Layke will lead the new Building Efficiency Initiative at WRI, drawing upon her experience directing Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency. Prior to Johnson Controls, Layke served as the deputy director of WRI’s Climate and Energy Program from 2005 to 2009. The new building efficiency initiative will be part of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, which aims to catalyze sustainable urban development and improve the quality of life for people in cities worldwide.

For more information, visit

World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India,Indonesia, and the United States. Our more than 450 experts and staffwork closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action to sustain our natural resources—the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being (

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 170,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2014, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #12 company in its annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list. For additional information, please visit or follow @johnsoncontrols on Twitter.

Global contact:
Kari Pfisterer
+1 414-524-4017

Asia contacts:
Shing Shian Ngiam
+65 6854 8643

Desiree Tan
+65 6327 0261

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