Energy efficiency

"PU EUROPE members believe there is overwhelming scientific evidence for human induced climate change, primarily as a result of increased carbon dioxide emissions since the industrial age began. The increased use of insulation in buildings, which account for approximately 40 % of carbon dioxide emissions, will help in our fight to reduce these emissions and help prevent severe potential future impacts of climate change. PU Europe members help this cause with the production of PUR/PIR which is one the most highly efficient insulation on the market."

Increasing the energy efficiency of Europe’s new and existing buildings provides very substantial benefits regarding all three pillars of sustainable development:

  • Buildings account for almost 40 %1 of the EU’s overall energy use. Minimising their energy demand will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and hence contribute to mitigating climate change.
  • Every year, the EU transfers about €420 billion to third countries to cover its fossil fuel needs. Making Europe’s buildings more efficient will contribute to using a substantial part of this amount to stimulate the local economy, generate higher government revenues through additional tax income, and lower the energy bills of consumers.
  • About 19 local jobs are created for each €1m invested in energy efficiency. Moreover, making buildings energy efficient contributes to avoiding fuel poverty.

PU Europe has played an active role in helping to shape ambitious policies through the Energy performance of buildings directive and the Energy efficiency directive. As a result, all new buildings must have nearly zero energy demand from 2021 onwards. However, Europe’s climate goals for 2050 cannot be achieved unless the energy demand of the 210 million existing buildings is reduced by 80 % by that date. Comprehensive national renovation strategies as defined in the Energy Efficiency Directive are a prerequisite to achieve this. With this in mind, PU Europe is a partner of the Renovate Europe campaign which promotes the benefits of building renovation.

Being a high performance insulation material, polyurethane (PUR / PIR) is best suited to design nearly zero energy buildings and drastically reduce the demand of existing buildings.

(Infographics also available in: ES)


Other reports

1 Commission Communication COM (2011) 109 final “Energy Efficiency Plan 2011” (page 7)