As the world's urban population increases every year and could swell to approximately 5 billion by 2030, people and governments now face the biggest challenge of having environmentally sustainable urban communities.
The pressure to conserve the world's finite resources led by potable water and electricity is now felt everywhere including in developed economies.
This daunting threat has encouraged the management behind Siemens AG to build its very first eco-sustainable edifice-the Crystal Tower-in downtown London.
The edifice stands out not only with its unique architectural shape the structure has been formed with a very close similarity to an overgrown crystal lattice that actually reflects the symmetrical windows and photo-voltaic panels installed to power the building.
The launch of the Siemens Crystal Tower this month underscores the many possibilities that ecological awareness and actual conservation efforts can be done with action and beyond plain lip service.
Peter Löscher, president and CEO of Siemens AG says during the Crystal's inaugural launch that the building represents an important step forward for the company and urban sustainability.
Believing that the company's further growth and sustainable future depends greatly on cities that contributes 80 per cent of the world's GDP, Siemens AG did not hesitate to put up and invested heavily in the building.
Mr. Löscher says that the creation of the Crystal edifice is a head start for future collaboration to address environmental issues faced by cities and will not be a product showroom.
The Siemens-Crystal edifice has shown that a sustainable building is possible lowering its energy requirements and tapping what nature has to offer.
It has lowered the normal energy usage of a building by 50 per cent as it does not burn fossil fuels to power the building. It uses solar power and ground source heat pumps to generate its own energy needs.
Water, on the other hand, will automatically be recycled and wastage minimised.
"If we're going to make progress in combating climate change, cities must lead the way. The decisions cities make today, will shape our future for years to come. There are three important things you should know about the Crystal. First, the Crystal's doors will be open to everyone. The general public are welcome, whether they are Londoners, tourists, or school classes. Just as important, it will be a meeting place and hub for city leaders, infrastructure experts, mayors, planners, architects, academics, and other stakeholders," he notes.
He cites that the Crystal Facebook Channel, which now has 48,000 followers, keeps on growing and this means getting everyone involved in the cause of urban and environmental sustainability.
Siemens has recently been named Supersector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.