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  • Writer's pictureCresco Team

One step before legislation

As a low carbon material development company, we are passionate about reducing embodied carbon emissions in the construction sector. Although the legislation in the UK is currently about operational emissions, the next legislations to come will be covering embodied carbon in new builds. Before the legislation arrives, lets have a look at where the built environement is today and why embodied carbon is the next in line to be forced by legislation soon to arrive.

  • The UK's carbon budgeting system is being used to achieve a net-zero construction sector, which sets a maximum limit for carbon emissions across the entire economy.

  • The built environment is a carbon-intensive sector, which means there will be significant reductions needed, no matter the balance of carbon input and output between other industries.

  • The sixth carbon budget (2033-37) recommends a 78% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and most of these cuts will be made sooner rather than later.

  • The sixth carbon budget includes policy recommendations for the built environment to consider the impact of materials substitutions from high to low embodied carbon materials.

  • 'Whole life' mandatory carbon assessments are being recommended as a crucial part of future regulation, along with the facilitation of whole life benchmarking.

  • The UK Green Building Council's Net Zero Roadmap is also recommending 'whole life' carbon assessments, and is supporting mandatory reporting of whole life carbon for large buildings from 2023.

  • In December 2021, seventeen industry leaders wrote a letter demanding the urgent introduction of whole life assessments to the construction minister, including Mark Robinson (Chief executive of SCAPE), Rick Willmott (Group Chief Executive of Willmott Dixon) and Mark Reynolds (Group CEO of MACE).

Overall, there is significant support from policymakers, organisations and industry leaders for embodied carbon measurement and benchmarking, making whole life assessments a crucial part of decarbonising the built environment.

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