Embodied Carbon on a Roll
October 9, 2018
Shortly after the release of Paula Melton’s Spotlight Report on Embodied Carbon, which has been getting amazing reviews and kudos, I sat in on an update by Ryan Zizzo, Chair of the Embodied Carbon Network’s Buildings Taskforce. I was so inspired by the breadth of activities suddenly going on in this space, that I decided to lay them out in a mind map.
Buy Clean California rolling out
I was particularly interested in the specifics that are now emerging about how California plans to implement its pioneering “Buy Clean California” law, which requires project teams to solicit Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and select lower-carbon products on projects with State funds. When we initially reported on the law, California administrators were handed the daunting task of determining what threshold to set for the allowable carbon footprint of each listed material.
Zizzo explained that that projects will begin requesting EPDs in 2019, even though the procurement mandate (the requirement to select lower-carbon products) won’t take effect until 2021. The lead time will allow regulators to simply take the average of the carbon numbers in the EPDs they receive and use that as the threshold for later procurement of lower-carbon products. In other words, the average from EPDs received in 2020 will become the procurement minimum for 2021. Zizzo also noted that the State will require facility-specific EPDs—companies that manufacture in multiple locations will have to generate EPDs specific to each factory.
Skanska and Microsoft cooking up something cool
There are few details available yet, but we’re seeing increasing references to an “Embodied Carbon in Construction” tool that’s in the works. The tool’s website doesn’t say much either, but it suggests that they’re working on some pretty sophisticated functionality. And it has an option to sign up as a beta tester.
What else are you aware of that’s ramping up as interest in embodied carbon takes off? Let us know by posting below, and we’ll consider adding it to the mind map.
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