10.2%

Increase

in Limbach’s construction segment gross profit in 2020

10.5%

Growth

in Limbach's service revenue in 2020

50%

Target

Limbach’s 5-year outlook aims to increase their maintenance/service business (as opposed to new construction or renovation) to 50% from 22.4% in 2020

View Our Analysis

The Path to Drawdown: Building Automation Systems

Buildings and construction were the source of 38% of global CO2 emissions and 35% of total energy use. Much of the energy used in buildings is the result of heating and air-conditioning, lighting, information and communications systems, security and access systems, fire alarms, elevators, appliances, and indirectly through plumbing.

Most large commercial buildings in industrialized countries have some type of centralized, computer-based building management system that monitors, evaluates, and controls these systems. That centralized management is called a building automation system. Building automation systems use sensors to constantly scan and rebalance energy use to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. New buildings can be equipped with a building automation system from the start, and old ones can be retrofitted to incorporate it and reap its benefits.

Adopting automated, rather than manual, building management systems can result in over 20% more efficient heating and cooling, and 8% more efficient energy use for light, appliances, etc.

Today, the adoption of building automation systems varies widely by country. Project Drawdown estimates that, for building automation systems to make a significant dent in global emissions, their adoption needs to grow particularly rapidly in developing countries:

  • <::marker> In 2018, over 75% of buildings in some high-income countries were managed by automated systems while some developing regions had not adopted them at all. 
  • <::marker> By 2050, if building automation systems are adopted by 100% of commercial buildings in OECD countries, 80% in China, and 50% in all other regions, they can help avoid up to 10.48 gigatons of CO2 emissions.

What We Want to See Improve

Track GHG Emissions

Right now, Limbach doesn’t report any sustainability metrics. We would like to see them track and report several key indicators: overall direct and indirect GHG emissions, amount of emissions avoided through Limbach’s services, and the sources of their energy use. Once these are tracked, investors and stakeholders can hold the company accountable, and Limbach can then set specific targets for cutting their emissions toward zero.

Diversify Customers

Limbach notes (p. 12) that they’re dependent on a handful of customers that account for a substantial portion of their revenue. In their construction segment, for example, a single customer accounted for ~14% of consolidated total revenue in 2020. To become resilient against disruptions in demand, we urge Limbach to diversify their customer base.

Enhance Supplier Transparency

Limbach is transparent on who their largest customers are, but is mute when it comes to their suppliers. We want to see more transparency on their supplier base so that investors can start to evaluate the carbon footprint of their supply chain.

Related Building Automation Stocks in the Climate Index

View All Climate Index Stocks →

Allocated Company Description

3.34%

Johnson Controls (JCI)

JCI offers HVAC and automation systems, allowing building managers to improve energy efficiency. These solutions help reduce emissions from buildings

0.21%

Comfort Systems USA, Inc. (FIX)

Comfort Systems USA provides automation systems that building managers monitor building energy use. That's the solution for emissions from buildings.

0.12%

Vivint Smart Home, Inc. (VVNT)

Vivint offers a system that lets home owners control heating, cooling, energy and security. They enhance building automation, which cuts building emissions

0.02%

Limbach Holdings (LMB)

Limbach provides data-driven building automation, system integration, and energy management solutions. These solutions help reduce emissions from buildings

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