Many of the global trends driving the sustainable-development agenda rely on copper and its unique properties, from climate-change mitigation and adaptation to energy efficiency and energy security.
Energy efficiency plays an important role when it comes to actions limiting man-made climate change. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has stated that half of the actions needed to reach the goals of the Paris climate-change agreement can be met through energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency provides a three-tiered value proposition, a true win-win-win situation:
- Increased energy efficiency helps society spend less on new power-generating capacity and limits stress on grids
- Increased energy efficiency reduces utility bills and increases spending power for individuals and offers higher competitiveness for businesses
- Energy-efficient products release less CO2, offering a pathway toward fast and meaningful impact on global climate-change goals.
Copper plays a critical role in energy efficiency, as copper assures optimal performance from the conductive materials within many high-energy-using products. Copper is the best nonprecious conductor of heat and electricity, so it is essential to the efficient generation and delivery of electricity to homes and businesses. Additionally, copper helps the products containing it to operate at peak efficiency. Using inferior conductors reduces efficiency, leading to wasted energy, higher utility bills, and increased greenhouse-gas emissions.