Ireland-based Johnson Controls International (JCI) was recently awarded the 2023 Microsoft Global Independent Software Vendor Partner of the Year for its OpenBlue connected solutions that operate on Microsoft Azure, providing “smart, healthy and sustainable” building controls, reported JCI.
JCI’s portfolio of natural refrigerant products includes ammonia (R717)-based chillers, compressors and heat pumps for industrial and commercial use from various sub-brands, including Hybrid Energy, Frick and Sabroe.
“OpenBlue builds on the Microsoft Cloud platform to monitor and fine-tune the operation of different building systems and devices, delivering significant emissions reductions and energy cost savings,” said Microsoft in the award announcement, adding that JCI’s work helps organizations tap the power of data and artificial intelligence (AI).
“[Our] data platform that connects different buildings, including both JCI and non-JCI devices, securely brings data to a Microsoft Azure cloud and analyzes [it] using machine learning algorithms to deliver outcomes around sustainability, energy management and asset help,” said Vijay Sankaran, Chief Technology Officer at JCI in a video on the company’s website.
Over 4,200 nominations for various Microsoft awards were submitted this year from more than 100 countries worldwide. Microsoft selected this year’s award recipients based on “their commitment to customers, the impact of their solutions, and their exemplary use of Microsoft technologies,” Microsoft says on its website.
OpenBlue connects core building equipment and electrified systems to “manage entire buildings, or a portfolio of buildings,” to control costs, energy and water usage, emissions and more, said JCI.
JCI reports using OpenBlue to “accelerate” its own net zero journey and cutting its absolute CO2e emissions by more than 455,000 metric tons since 2017 and its customers’ emissions by over 18 million metric tons.
In 2020, Derwent London, a U.K.-based real estate investment trust that manages over 96 buildings, pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and turned to JCI for help. “Our highly collaborative partnership with Johnson Controls means we’re constantly [finding] new ways to innovate and fine-tune our portfolio,” said Michael Simons, Digital and Innovation Manager at Derwent London.
Standard Chartered Bank, a world bank with locations in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, wanted to be sustainable and save energy, said Rodney Clark, Chief Commercial Officer at JCI, in the video. With OpenBlue, the company integrated “all those systems, not just within buildings, but globally to get the insights to fine-tune and save energy,” which has saved over US$600,000 (€550,386) in energy costs, he noted.
As part of its software services, JCI launched a growing international network of OpenBlue Innovation Centers serving as knowledge hubs, allowing public and private leaders to see how digital technologies can accelerate climate action.
At Children’s Hospital of Alabama, JCI “leveraged its OpenBlue Central Utility Plant to reduce the use of natural gas by 69%,” said Clark.
“From hospitals, universities, and schools to stadiums, airports, ships, hotels, factories, retailers, banks and offices – our combined digital capabilities are empowering customers in every industry to create healthy safe spaces for people and the planet,” said Sankaran in a press release.
JCI has been recognized on several platforms for its attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, including EcoVadis and Sustainalytics.
The 140-year-old company operates in over 150 countries.
“OpenBlue builds on the Microsoft Cloud platform to monitor and fine-tune the operation of different building systems and devices, delivering significant emissions reductions and energy cost savings.”Microsoft