TUNLEY ENGINEERING

EMBODIED CARBON ASSESSMENT

EMBODIED CARBON ASSESSMENT

Our embodied carbon assessment service provides an embodied carbon assessment for a product by quantifying the total greenhouse gases emitted in its production to calculate its embodied carbon footprint.

Embodied carbon is reported in terms of kg of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) of a product before it hits the market or becomes operational.

Unlike an organisation’s carbon footprint, embodied carbon is fixed and cannot be altered once the product is made. It is therefore essential to have your product, building plan, or design assessed with our Embodied Carbon Assessment before you begin to build it whenever possible so you can establish the embodied carbon footprint.

For example, building materials can emit huge amounts of carbon long before the lights go on, but thoughtful up front design can reduce global warming impact. Our Embodied Carbon Assessment will generate your CO2e calculation and establish ways to reduce your embodied carbon footprint.

EMBODIED CARBON

Calculating the Embodied Carbon Footprint of a Product

It is common knowledge Climate Change is a rapidly escalating emergency, and we have a lot of hard work to do in order to mitigate its effects. For building professionals, that has typically meant increasing energy efficiency and pushing for renewable energy production, thus reducing the amount of carbon generated by the fossil fuels we burn to operate our buildings.

But as crucial as that is, it is not enough: we also need to think about the greenhouse gases that are emitted to construct our buildings in the first place—the embodied carbon. The manufacture of building materials makes up 11% of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

As with all efforts to reduce carbon, measuring the embodied carbon is the vital first step that allows the product’s embodied carbon footprint to be assessed and addressed, enhancing company reputation and product desirability to stakeholders who are increasingly routinely selecting for lower carbon options.

Embodied Carbon is not yet as highly regulated or measured as Business Carbon. However, year on year the interest from the international community and awareness and demand from consumers for lower carbon options has increased, and will only continue to do so. 

At a global level, buildings account for 32% of energy use and 30% of energy based GHG emissions. These emissions will continue to rise under a business-as-usual scenario.

The embodied carbon footprint impacts and the impacts of other built asset types are not currently accounted for, which makes the impact of the whole built environment even greater. To play its part in limiting global temperature increase to 2°C, the built environment sector must reduce its emissions by a total of 84 GtCO2 by 2050. As part of the Paris Agreement, member states will have to transition to net zero-carbon economies.

So far, 91 countries have included elements of commitments relating to buildings in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – their  national declarations of commitment. In the UK, the Low Carbon Route-map and the 2015 Route-map Progress Report highlight that the sector needs to find a further 39% reduction in carbon emissions from the 1990 baseline in order to meet the Government’s target to reduce carbon emissions in the built environment by 50% by 2025.

Longer term, deeper reductions will be needed to reach the UK’s Climate Change Act target of 80% reduction by 2050 from the 1990 baseline. Consideration of the embodied carbon footprint within the built environment at the initial design and construction stages, especially by the construction and property sectors, is necessary in order to achieve the required GHG reductions 

The relative significance of embodied carbon is increasing, as both the grid decarbonises, and operational emissions decrease due to increased efficiency. 

Furthermore, with investors increasingly applying ESG (environmental social and governance) factors to their decision making, the pressures, and opportunities, regarding Embodied Carbon Reduction has never been greater.

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OUR EMBODIED CARBON ASSESSMENT

An Embodied Carbon Assessment, conducted by a team of Carbon Reduction Engineers, gives your business the added reassurance your audit has been conducted by in-industry experts who know what they are looking for and, by extension, provide realistic guidance on how your product, whatever that may be, can be more sustainable by reducing its embodied carbon footprint, cheaper to produce in some cases, and have a stronger brand.

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To get your products ahead of this growing pressure, call the team today!