UPFRONT CARBON EMISSIONS
To limit global warming below 2°C, all new buildings must reduce embodied carbon by 40-50% by 2030 based on agreement in 2018 by UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to IPCC, embodied energy is defined as the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a building, from the mining and processing of natural resources to manufacturing, transport and product delivery. All carbon and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) generated from these processes can be considered as embodied carbon. With 2030 being less than a decade away, embodied carbon becomes one of the most pressing issues related to Climate Change as the urban built environment alone is responsible for 75% of annual global greenhouse gases emissions, with buildings alone accounting for 37%.
Focus on Upfront Carbon Emissions represents a call to action by the World Green Building Council to bring embodied carbon upfront to highlight arguably the most urgent yet overlooked part of the whole life carbon emissions in buildings and infrastructure.
CIRCULAR ECONOMY, CIRCULAR DESIGN
A circular economy captures the benefits of materials throughout their life span and seeks to keep materials in circulation as long as possible. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing and closed recycling loops. A circular economy is the opposite of a linear economy—the standard “take, make, dispose” model of production—and it represents an unprecedented opportunity to reduce costs, embodied carbon and strain on natural resources and ecosystems.
The aim is “to retain as much value as possible from resources, products, parts and materials to create a system that allows for long life, optimal reuse, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling.”