Leveraging Procurement Policy to Drive Embodied Carbon Reductions

A talk by Vaclav Hasik and Meghan Lewis
Building Transparency and Carbon Leadership Forum

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About this talk

The global need to address climate change has never been more urgent. Policy is an essential tool for reaching climate targets for industrial and building sector emissions. Until recently, climate policies targeting the building sector have focused on operational carbon alone, and industrial sector policies have focused on the factory rather than considering the upfront carbon footprint of a product. This results in the outsourcing of emissions across greenhouse gas accounting borders rather than a decrease in global emissions. Policy opportunities are emerging globally to address this gap and incentivize clean manufacturing, the collection of robust embodied carbon data, and capacity building across the building sector.

This session will start with an introduction to embodied carbon and existing policy frameworks targeting embodied carbon reductions. We will provide examples from Buy Clean California and recent legislation in Washington, Oregon, New York, and New Jersey. Next, we will introduce how the EC3 tool is already being leveraged to comply with Buy Clean California and aid local agencies to implement embodied carbon policies and programs. Last, we will introduce a set of resources created for policymakers to aid in the quick development of embodied carbon policy language.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define embodied carbon and articulate how avoiding the carbon loophole can prevent emissions outsourcing.

  2. Identify key differences in the range of embodied carbon policy solutions being proposed and implemented across the country and how they impact architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, and government agencies.

  3. Demonstrate how the EC3 tool can be used to comply with Buy Clean California and similar procurement policies, both from government agencies and the private sector.

  4. Contribute knowledgeably to the development of embodied carbon policies in your own company, city, or state.

1 GBCI CEU (self-reported) 1 LFA CEU (pending)

Meghan Lewis

RA, LEED AP BD+C

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