Worldwide, the equivalent of an additional New York City is built every month. Globally, the building and construction sectors account for nearly 40% of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in constructing and operating buildings (including the impacts of upstream power generation). Current building codes address operating energy but do not typically address the impacts of carbon emissions ‘embodied’ in building materials and products through the processes to extract, manufacture, and transport those materials. Unlike operational carbon emissions, which can be reduced over time with building energy efficiency renovations and the use of renewable energy, embodied carbon emissions have irreversibly entered the atmosphere as soon as a building is built.
The Carbon Leadership Forum helps translate materials research into action by providing their network partners with the expertise and tools to radically reduce global manufacturing emissions and the embodied carbon in building materials. CLF’s ultimate goal is to bring new buildings’ embodied carbon emissions down to zero. The RWN Foundation two-year grant supported capacity building, including the hiring of staff and contractors to help increase participation and develop additional colloquia and resources.