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Johnson Controls launches OpenBlue Pioneers Award

CORK, Ireland, 30 June 2022: Johnson Controls (JCI) announced the first winners of a new buildings’ innovation award, called OpenBlue Pioneers. Making the announcement through a Press release, JCI said each OpenBlue Pioneer has proven instrumental in driving the future of smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, and innovating with Johnson Controls’ AI-enabled OpenBlue technology to transform their spaces, businesses and communities. In recognition, the winners have each been awarded a Blueprint of the Future Industry Award, which recognises outstanding examples of visionary thinking and digital transformation, JCI said.

According to JCI, each OpenBlue Pioneer has proven instrumental in driving the future of smart, healthy and sustainable buildings.

The first recipients of the OpenBlue Pioneers award, JCI said, are:

BEEAH Headquarters, pioneering the path for offices of the future towards one of the world’s smartest workplaces

The BEEAH Headquarters, based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, is a remarkable example of what can be achieved with visionary thinking. Featuring intelligent edge systems and software designed to optimise energy efficiency, the building is the first fully AI-integrated building in the Middle East. It is equipped to be net zero and operates to LEED platinum standards. Employees and visitors experience seamless interaction with the building at all times through OpenBlue Companion. Features include advanced facial recognition for seamless movement between spaces, frictionless access to promote the health and safety of employees, comfort control and intelligent concierge services to support day-to-day tasks. The building and its technologies manifest sustainability and digitalisation, BEEAH Group’s twin pillared strategy to pioneer a sustainable quality of life for all.

Chase Center, which enhances fans’ health, comfort and safety through one intelligent platform

The Chase Center, based in San Francisco, California, in the United States, is a state-of-the-art, future-focused LEED Gold-certified sports and entertainment centre. Partnering with Johnson Controls, the Chase Center optimises the digital capabilities of its equipment, systems and connected technologies through Metasys building automation system, communicating data in real time and powering smart building decisions as well as reducing energy and the arena’s carbon footprint. The connected suite of solutions included in the OpenBlue Healthy Buildings offerings enhance fan health, comfort and safety.

The village of Patchogue, which is setting the gold standard for community revitalisation

The visionary village of Patchogue, located on Long Island, New York, in the United States, is preserving a green tomorrow for future generations with smart environmental solutions. Showcasing a future-focused mindset and a passion to preserve natural resources, improve quality of life, and protect the ecosystem, the village of Patchogue will save USD 8.2 million in the next 25 years through Johnson Controls’ energy-efficient upgrades to HVAC, lighting and temperature control systems.

The Powerhouse Alliance: The world’s northernmost net energy-positive building

Powerhouse Brattørkaia in Trondheim, Norway, is a true model for transformational design and development worldwide. As the most net energy-positive building in the northern hemisphere, it sets a new standard for buildings by focusing on environmental considerations and reducing its carbon footprint. Powerhouse, a Norwegian collaboration set up to drive innovation in energy, collaborated with Johnson Controls to build a net energy-positive smart building – that is, a building that produces more energy than it consumes.

Colorado State University, Pueblo, becomes first campus in Colorado to reach “net zero electricity” with solar power

Through its visionary thinking, Colorado State University, Pueblo, has become greener, more independent and more resilient. This pioneering campus is leading the industry in sustainability and energy consumption and has far exceeded three of the four greening government goals. Powered by a 23-acre solar farm with battery storage that supplies 12M kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, they are the first campus in Colorado to reach net-zero electricity for all the academic facilities. Collaborating with Johnson Controls, they have created the net-zero campus of the future: A sustainable, energy-efficient and healthy environment that minimises energy costs for the next two decades and passes these savings on to their students and the community.

“The recognition of our first OpenBlue Pioneers casts a spotlight on some incredible businesses and organizations demonstrating outstanding leadership in transforming buildings globally,” said Rodney Clark, Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Johnson Controls. “What they prove is that a concerted focus on decarbonization, electrification, efficiency and digitization can deliver net-zero buildings, alongside communities that are smarter, safer, more sustainable and affordable. This first group of OpenBlue Pioneers will be followed by many more as the momentum for the digital transformation of the built environment accelerates. It also proves that doing the right thing can be exactly the same as doing the sensible thing from a business perspective.”

Johnson Controls appoints new VP and Chief Commercial Officer

CORK, Ireland, 26 May 2022: Johnson Controls (JCI) has named Rodney Clark as Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, effective June 1, 2022. Making the announcement through a Press release, JCI said that in this role, Clark will lead global sales excellence efforts across the company, replacing Chief Commercial Officer, Brian Young, who retired at the end of last year. Clark also will take on a portion of the role being transitioned from Michael Ellis, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer and Digital Officer, who will retire at the end of the year.


“I am excited to welcome a proven, strategic leader such as Rodney to Johnson Controls,” said George Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls. “As we deliver on growth platforms, such as decarbonization in smart, healthy buildings, Rodney will build on our progress, collaborating with customers on outcome-based solutions and service offerings through OpenBlue, while expanding our market, building scale, capacity and capability.”


According to JCI, Clark most recently held the role of Corporate Vice President of Global Partner Sales and Channel Chief at Microsoft. In this role, Clark led a team responsible for customer and partner relationships, accelerating growth through the Microsoft partner ecosystem, as well as cross-partner strategy and outcomes through the Microsoft partner network, JCI said. Prior to this, he served as the Corporate Vice President of the Internet of Things (IoT) and mixed reality sales, responsible for building intelligent systems and mixed reality capability, through sales and go-to-market execution, JCI said.


Earlier in his career, Clark held other notable roles at Microsoft, including General Manager, Samsung Alliance; General Manager, Global Operations; and General Manager, Small and Medium Business, JCI said. Additionally, he spent eight years at IBM and has held roles throughout his career in strategy, sales, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and digital transformation. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from California State University, Fresno.


“I’m delighted to be joining Johnson Controls, they have an incredible team that is driving innovative technology that transforms ordinary buildings into dynamic, healthier, safer spaces for all of us to enjoy,” Clark said.” Adding intelligent cloud and intelligent edge solutions to their traditional offerings creates an enormous opportunity and will help customers address their most critical challenges – including the achievement of sustainability targets with agile, flexible and scalable solutions.”

JCI: Investments in sustainability have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels

CORK, Ireland, 12 April 2022: Johnson Controls (JCI) announced findings from its 15th annual Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey, which revealed that 62% of organizations surveyed expect to increase investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy or smart building technology in 2022, indicating a return to pre-pandemic levels. 

JCI said the latest report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change advised that global scale transformation is urgently needed to combat climate change; however, its Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey found that organizations are still facing challenges to accelerate their sustainability efforts in key areas. Almost two-thirds of survey respondents say they struggle to scale sustainability initiatives across buildings, geographies or business units.  

“In the face of the multiple and continuous shock waves of the last two years, it is very encouraging to see that building owners and operators are driving forward the kinds of investments that deliver the resilience needed to grow their business and attract and retain the best talent,” said Katie McGinty, Vice President & Chief Sustainability and External Relations Officer, JCI.

“Whether it is the damage delivered by climate-charged destructive natural events, or the health threat of the pandemic, or now, the stark demonstration of the insecurity of world energy supplies, it is clear that taking action to cut energy demand while decarbonizing and cleaning the air are core strategies for companies, governments and institutions to not only survive but to thrive.

Our innovative technologies in heat pumps and our OpenBlue digital platform, plus our Net Zero as a Service partnership offering, are exactly the right tools at the right time for leaders determined to stay well ahead of challenges and deliver new opportunities for their business or organization.” 

JCI said the survey revealed that planned investment in energy generation or storage has grown significantly over five years, likely in response to the global focus on decarbonization, and as part of that effort, electrification.

More than a third of respondents plan to replace fossil fuel heating equipment with heat pump technology in the next year, which is seven per cent more than what was implemented in the year prior, the company said. Notably, thermal energy storage jumped from 27% to 42% in the last five years, the company said. More than half of respondents implemented electric energy storage in the past year, the company added. 

JCI said the survey also found that the United States and Europe still lead the way in every metric of green building planning. The United States had the most respondents who had already achieved green building certification and expect to have a net-zero-energy or carbon building in the next 10 years, JCI said.

Europe had the most respondents planning to attain green building certifications and the most respondents who have established public energy or carbon-reduction goals, with United Kingdom leading with 46% established goals, JCI added. 

Compared to its global counterparts, significantly more respondents in the United States plan to implement measures, such as building controls improvements, onsite renewable energy and energy management process, such as ISO 50001, JCI said. Of the countries surveyed, the United Kingdom, France and Japan have the most respondents who expect to increase investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy or smart building technology over the next year, the company said. Still, to reach global sustainability and environmental goals, the world must work collectively to plan for a more energy efficient future and make investments today for the generations to come, it added. 

Although global-scale transformation is necessary to course-correct on climate change, organisations are facing barriers to pursuing sustainability initiatives, JCI said. Almost half of the respondents surveyed say their top barrier to pursue energy and building technology improvements is either a lack of funding to pay for improvements (25%) or uncertainty in their return-on-investment (23%), the company said. 

Additionally, more than half of respondents pointed to a lack of technology as one of the hindrances to scaling sustainability efforts, JCI said. 

The pandemic has also prompted organizations to rethink their technology investment decision-making, JCI said. Protecting the health and safety of building occupants during the coronavirus pandemic was the second most significant driver of investments globally, it said. Additionally, 65% of respondents performed an indoor air quality assessment last year, it added. 

Respondents to the survey also said improving occupant health and wellness overall and improving life safety and security were important decision-making factors, JCI pointed out. Over the next 12 months, almost 60% of organizations plan to invest in fire and life safety system and security system improvements to their buildings, it said. Long term, more than two-thirds of organizations believe data analytics and cybersecurity will have an extremely or very significant impact on the implementation of smart buildings over the next five years, it added. 

The survey revealed that actionable policies are also important for progressing energy efficiency goals, JCI said, adding that 85% and 72% of respondents, respectively, reported that performance benchmarking, certifications and performance standards for energy codes are critical to improving energy efficiency efforts. 

JCI said its Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey collected responses from 1,000 participants globally between November and December 2021. 

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