As CIOs and other executives look for ways to expand sustainability initiatives, there’s a growing awareness that initiatives can’t stop at the four walls of the data center or office building. Today’s structures can contain hundreds of thousands of components that consume energy and add to an organization’s carbon footprint.

In fact, buildings consume one-third of all energy globally and produce one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), according to The World Resources Institute. What’s more, business and IT leaders are often narrowly focused on improving sustainability in data centers and procuring greener computing systems. Yet they overlook critical ways that technology can shrink a carbon footprint.

“There is a growing awareness that buildings and workspaces are a crucial part of sustainability initiatives,” states Bryon Carlock, National Real Estate Practice Leader for consulting firm PwC. “Understanding and managing energy use and embedded carbon in buildings plays an important role in limiting Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 emissions.”