Four major property developers, British Land, Derwent London, Land Securities and Tishman Speyer, along with WRAP and the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC), are calling on the industry to highlight the importance of embodied carbon in the built environment.

Embodied carbon is the carbon dioxide (CO2) or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the extraction, manufacture, transportation, assembly, replacement and deconstruction of building materials and products.

According to the UK-GBC, the issue is rising up the agenda and rapidly becoming a key area of focus for property developers working on new build and redevelopment projects.

This raised concern is due to issues of resource efficiency and resource scarcity becoming increasingly important.

It also points to further issues such as the need to reduce the UK’s GHG emissions and to prepare for the associated legislation or taxation that is likely to be implemented.

Embodied impacts of a project are often measured and reported in different ways, which has prompted the partners to call for industry to establish a joined up approach to measurement.

UKGBC chief executive Paul King said: “As industry is increasingly getting to grips with operational energy and the carbon and cost savings that result from reducing it, the issue of embodied carbon has taken something of a back seat.

“But there are progressive businesses out there that recognise both the huge financial and environmental rewards of tackling embodied carbon throughout the various stages of the building lifecycle,” added King.

The industry call comes ahead of Embodied Carbon Week, an event, held on the 8th April, that will highlight industry’s current efforts to cut embodied carbon in the built environment and propose ways in which it can be measured and minimised more effectively going forward.

Leigh Stringer

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