July 2023 Meeting of the NGO/Government Roundtable on Embodied Carbon

CLF’s Embodied Carbon Roundtable has the following objectives:

  • Share news, strategic plans, resources, and tools related to embodied carbon.
  • Report planning and future dates for conferences, webinars, and meetings.
  • Inspire and facilitate ongoing communication and conversation among key leaders related to embodied carbon.
  • Encourage convergence on shared embodied carbon terminology, data standards, benchmarks, and targets for embodied carbon reduction.

>> Register for the Upcoming October 12 Meeting!


β€’ Andrew Himes β€” Intro and Welcome from CLF
β€’ Ankita Gangotra β€” WRI
β€’ Graham Wright β€” PHIUS (Passive House Institute of the US)
β€’ Kara Kokernak β€” ULI
β€’ James Kitchin β€” MASS Design Group
β€’ Shayna Stott β€” City of Toronto, Canada
β€’ Meghan Lewis β€” Carbon Leadership Forum & Embodied Carbon Alignment
β€’ Tracy Huynh β€” RMI
β€’ Dorian Bailey β€” Port Authority of NY/NJ
β€’ Ken Levenson β€” Passive House Network
β€’ Marnese Jackson β€” Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition
β€’ Luke Leung β€” MEP 2040
β€’ Webly Bowles β€” NBI
β€’ Lisa Dulude β€” University of Washington
β€’ Rachel Stern β€” Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association
β€’ Natalie Douglas β€” City of Nelson, BC, Canada
β€’ Jessica Bristow β€” ILFI
β€’ Lauren Kubiak β€” NRDC
β€’ Eric Finley β€” NSF
β€’ Lauren Alger β€” Infrastructure 2050
β€’ David Arkin β€” AIA
β€’ Wes Sullens β€” USGBC
β€’ Allison Kinn Bennet β€” EPA

Ankita Gangotra β€” WRI

  • Drafting article comparing different approaches about the intersection of trade policies and industrial decarb – coming soon
    • Low carbon product standard
    • New legislative proposals on carbon adjustments
  • US/International knowledge forum on green concrete and steel
    • Green procurement and low carbon standards
  • Question: CAL AB 43 engagement?
  • Email: ankita.gangotra@wri.org
  • If you’re interested in the US-International Knowledge Exchange forum on green steel, cement and concrete WRI’s working paper from a couple of years ago on a low-carbon product standard

Graham Wright β€” PHIUS (Passive House Institute of the US)

  • Website
  • Proposed absolute zero for carbon anywhere in operation or supply chain
    • 24/7 Zero
  • Building sector shouldn’t get to use carbon offsets
  • Retrofit program – full cost accounting carbon metric for both operational and embodied carbon
    • Adds to construction, operational, electrification costs
    • Design as if there’s a carbon tax
    • Benchmarking before targets
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory – air tightness and moisture properties of low EC materials
  • Refrigerants – not adopted anything yet

Kara Kokernak β€” ULI

  • Collecting EC data for the annual performance report
    • 1 submission so far – deadline 8/1
    • EC case studies
  • Second EC Convening in September
    • Construction, developers, green concrete and green steel supplier executives

James Kitchin β€” MASS Design Group

  • US – designing different envelopes and identifying EC and OC emissions that are associated, introduce whole life cost into that as well
    • Cost – cost effective is easy to implement
    • How does this change in different locations?
  • Ask PCR – biogenic materials discussion
  • Rwanda
    • Toolkit for Built Env Practitioners to mEasure and reduce EC in Rwanda
    • Implementing cooling systems and refrigerants into the tool
    • 3 Rwanda manufacturers agree to create EPDs for their materials in Rwanda
      • EPDs not as expensive as they used to be 3k euros
      • Government on board – EPDs align with existing initiatives

Shayna Stott β€” City of Toronto, Canada

  • Green Standard V4
  • Tiered requirements to private sector projects
  • Two benchmark studies
    • Regulating EC Emissions of Buildings – 1 Big Buildings 1 small buildings
      • Toronto to have EC caps of city facilities and projects
      • Creating affordable city housing and releasing additional land for housing
  • Next Steps: Phase 2 Study - Municipal EC Toolkit
    • Urban design guidelines review
    • Procurement policy review
    • Demolition, renovation, and reconstruction policy review

Meghan Lewis β€” Carbon Leadership Forum & Embodied Carbon Alignment

  • Alignment opportunities in EC Reporting
    • Communications, requirements for data, broad
  • Submitting data – what that would look like and how to align reporting
  • Report due in August: Advancing the LCA Data Ecosystem for Policy; public webinar to follow in ~ September
    • De-mystify LCA data ecosystem
    • Propose a roadmap for advancing the LCA data ecosystem
    • Shine a light on existing initiatives
    • Focus on US and Canada, but reference EU standards, too and attention to global harmonization
    • 4 focus areas: Cross sector, product, building, roadways

David Arkin – AIA

  • AIA (American Institute of Architects) is part of the EC/Decarb Alignment effort … we’ve been tracking carbon in buildings since 2013 (now reporting 3B sf / year) and added embodied carbon reporting in 2020, growing from 900 projects in 2021 to 3700 in 2022. The AIA 2030 Commitment - AIA

Tracy Huynh β€” RMI

  • EC in ECG Primer
    • Brief how EC fits into the blogger ESG reporting landscape, specifically real estate
    • Pursue standard to measure create to gate EC emissions in new low rise residential homes
    • Looking for technical committee members
  • Home Builders climate commitment program
    • Voluntary commitment program to support the home building sector ro report on and reduce carbon emissions
    • Reporting framework and guidance
    • Soft launch at EEBA conf in Oct.
  • Driving Action on Embodied Carbon Paper
    • Synthesis on current understanding of EC today
    • Unblock barriers to act on EC
    • Work w Wes at USGBC
  • Slides

Dorian Bailey β€” Port Authority of NY/NJ

  • EC Strategy for the past 3-4 years
  • Construction side – track EC and other EPD like metrics
    • Centralized carbon data management system
  • Receive technical support grant from FHA for climate challenge work
    • Working on linear construction work
  • Press release
    • Codifying low carbon concrete specs

Ken Levenson β€” Passive House Network

  • Knowledge sharing, capacity building, ect…
  • Chris Magwood on talking about report on residential construction and EC impact
  • PHN Conf. Denver – end of sept.
    • Chris to join panel discussion on PH and EC
  • PHribbon – EC calc tool
    • EC3 database with BT
    • Is being updated with lots more data and power behind it

Marnese Jackson β€” Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition

  • Coalition building and structuring coalition
  • Equity summit in Nov
  • Grant funding cycle to redistribute communities – Climate Funders Justice Pledge and C40 Pledge
    • Any communities – apply for that
  • August Trainings
  • Youth podcast series
  • Email: Jackson@fresh-energy.org
  • July 25: New Member Orientation – New member orientation is every fourth Tuesday of the month at 12 PM CST / 1 PM EST. Click here to register.
  • July 12: MWBDC Monthly Meeting – The monthly meeting usually takes place the second Wednesday of each month for 90 minutes at 2 PM CST / 3 PM EST. Register here

Luke Leung β€” MEP 2040

  • AHRAE and MEP 2040 – endorse and contribute resources
  • TM65 Draft out for comment
  • Working with multiple organizations to come up with holistic to report EC on MEP side
    • Data points in MEP reporting they should include – reach out if comments
  • WGBC – new target for 2050 is not β€œnet zero whole life carbon”, but rather zero carbon impact on the earth in a complete circular global economy

Webly Bowles β€” NBI

  • Publish EC building Code overlay soon
  • ASHRAE 90.1 will have an EPD requirement
    • Product GWP standards for procurement
  • City of Seattle – concrete and steel in proposals for local code revision
  • CALGreen – EC proposals, public hearing 8/1 - 8/3
    • Looking for more people to speak
  • Webinars in this fall
    • Coordinate with other events

Lisa Dulude β€” University of Washington

  • Updating UW green building standard
    • ~ 50% the way through
    • Introducing EC into requirements
    • Tiers for different types of projects
    • EC focus group meetings
    • 46.45kg CO2e/SF EC reduction target
  • Lots of engagement and education
    • Any recommendations or oversights – reach out if have input
  • Not doing carbon offsets, looking to renovate instead of add buildings,
  • Email: lisad3@uw.edu

Rachel Stern β€” Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association

  • PCR update for thermal insulation
    • Addition of bio based to applicable products list
    • Inclusions of blowing agent emissions for foam products
  • Brook Waldman (CLF) also included in this PCR
  • Wall assembly, attic, or similar – get in touch for free product of cellulose insulation

Natalie Douglas β€” City of Nelson, BC, Canada

  • Here’s a summary of some of the work Nelson has done regarding embodied carbon:

  • 2021 – investigating

    • Benchmarking study
    • Materials guide
    • Webinars and workshops
  • 2022 – testing

    • Webinars and workshops
    • Briefs and case studies
    • Free EC consultations
    • EC advisory group
  • 2023 – implementing

    • EC Regulation plan
    • EC advisory group
    • Free consultations
    • Retrofits investigation β€˜
  • Email: ndouglas@nelson.ca

Jessica Bristow β€” ILFI

  • EC Coalition group (with CLF)
    • ILFI, BT, CLF at Greenbuild
  • May - Living Futures Conference in DC
  • Affordable Housing Summit
  • Second cycle of technical advisory group – opens soon
  • Alignment update across CZ programs – updates at the beginning of next year

Lauren Kubiak β€” NRDC

  • Public procurement of concrete in CAL
    • AB 1250 - passed assembly last month, passed trans senate yesterday
    • Require cal trans to include EPDs in state trans asphalt and concrete
    • GWP benchmark hopes
    • Ask for support
  • Concrete not include in BC CA
    • Previous efforts have failed

Eric Finley β€” NSF

  • Public health and safety organization
  • Program operator for PCRs, LCAs, and EPDs

Lauren Alger β€” Infrastructure 2050

  • ASCE Infrastructure 2050
    • Everything beyond SE 2050
  • Evaluating tunnel projects – draft framework for data collection
  • Focus groups for bridges, airports (runways), roadways, ports, utilities
  • Develop policies with govt agencies – safe and effective carbon reduction strategies

Alison Kinn Bennett β€” EPA

  • Thanks to everyone who gave feedback and insight to RFI
  • Hiring – growing lots to bring in expertise for EC and IRA work
    • If you are interested in joining our growing team at EPA launching the new IRA low embodied carbon / EPD technical assistance and labeling programs, we’ll have some open opportunities soon! Please email me in the next couple days at kinn.alison@epa.gov.
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