May 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 July Meeting!


  • Megan Kalsman β€” CLF Pacific Coast Collaborative Embodied Carbon Policy Case Studies
  • Brad Benke β€” CLF WBLCA Benchmark Study
  • Amanda Smith β€” Project Drawdown
  • Caroline Butchart β€” Zero Emissions Building Exchange, Vancouver BC
  • Stephan Sylvan β€” US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Webly Bowles β€” New Buildings Institute
  • Tracy Huynh β€” RMI
  • Irene Dominguez β€” Bellona Europa
  • Lionel Lemay β€” National Ready-Mix Concrete Association (NRMCA)
  • Kara Kokernak β€” ULI
  • Peter Bacas β€” Port Authority of NY/NJ
  • Ankita Gangotra β€” WRI
  • Lauren Kubiak - NRDC
  • Katie Riddle - American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Luke Leung - MEP 2040
  • Fiona Greer - Center for the Built Environment, UC Berkeley

Megan Kalsman β€” CLF Pacific Coast Collaborative Embodied Carbon Policy Case Studies

  • CLF Technical resource, slow carbon construction working group
  • Strategizing to EC policy in the region

Brad Benke β€” CLF WBLCA Benchmark Study

  • Kicking off data collection for the study
  • Develop robust WBLCA benchmarks for buildings
  • Interested organizations can fill out participant questionnaire on project webpage

Amanda Smith β€” Project Drawdown

  • Drawdown – stop adding emissions to the atmosphere
  • Research and data visualizations, what climate solutions are out there and will work
  • Real zero – zero for the planet, quick cuts now for long term plans
  • How do we scale them – drawdown roadmap
  • How to use science – multiple stakeholders
  • amandadsmith | Twitter | Linktree

Ankita Gangotra β€” WRI

  • Co-convened Industrial Innovation Initiative (I3) with the Great Plains Institute
  • Industry leaders and other stakeholders for industrial decarbonization
  • International green procurement initiatives
    • Landscape assessment of international and national procurement policies
    • Link US to international green procurement policies
    • Benchmarks, technological readiness
  • Drafted article – understand differences to guide conversations about harmonizing efforts

Caroline Butchart – ZEBx and CLF British Columbia Regional Hub

Irene Dominguez β€” Bellona Europa

  • Bellona Europa – non profit, focusing on EU policy, area of focus IN carbon accounting, energy systems, stable economy, local impact
    • Embodied carbon work is within local impact
    • Research and advocacy, science based
    • Demand side – decarbonization construction products, assisting industry, pull into market
    • Supply side – green procurement
    • Zero emissions construction sites
  • Create embodied carbon report in the EU, visibility is low in EU, cement and steel emissions, definition on what low EC products are
  • Policy in EU – open policy files, beginning stages so still can change a lot

Fiona Greer - UC Berkeley

  • Center for the Built Environment
  • Collaborating with CLF for total carbon in building in CA benchmark
  • Research proposals around WBLCA and EC – California Climate Initiative
  • CBE – completed industry advisory meeting where EC was large part of the research

Katie Riddle - American Society of Landscape Architects

  • Membership association, ~15k members
  • Dipping toes into this work, working with National Climate Action Committee to educate on EPDs and what is coming for the profession
  • Informal coalition for EC and the built environment
  • Whole project LCA, project site and infrastructure are part of the conversation

Lauren Kubiak – NRDC

  • Power sector and industrial decarbonization
  • Embodied carbon work at material level - cement and concrete, steel, aluminum
  • Public procurement policies
  • Scoping how to address embodied carbon from a more comprehensive level with building team
  • Roadmap to take a step back – ARUP did broad synthesis on whole building approach to scale up embodied carbon work – not published yet

Peter Bacas β€” Port Authority of NY/NJ

  • Responsible for transportation infrastructure/ built environment systems
  • Materials and technical specifications for low embodied carbon sourcing
  • Updating Portland cement specifications
  • Requirement for EPDs submitted with mixes
  • Provided response to EPA RFI
  • Recap of embodied carbon data and projects
  • 170 product specific EPDs over the last 3 years
  • Creating dashboard for showing impacts to leadership – epds include KPIs other than just GWP
  • Product specific EPDs – 120 different ones in the past year

Stephan Sylvan β€” US Environmental Protection Agency

  • Completed 3rd stakeholder engagement webinar
  • Processing and reviewing RFI comments
  • Hiring and staffing – 4 new people on over the next few weeks, 3 more, much more hiring to do
  • 25 open positions in EC space

Tracy Huynh β€” RMI

  • Victor Olgyay – RMI

  • EC 101 article – synthesis of where we are with current understanding of EC, lit review, strategies, policy landscape, key stakeholders, etc…

  • The Hidden Climate Impact of Residential Construction Report – report cradle to gate EC emission sin new home construction and building industry’s ability to mitigate

  • RESNET Standard – measure EC in new low rise residential homes, in progress

  • Homebuilders Climate Commitment Program – underpinned by RESNET standard, reporting template to support sectors to report and reduce carbon emissions and consistently on ec and emissions

  • Ready Mix Concrete Industry Resource Development – educational resources for ready mix concrete industry workforce

Webly Bowles β€” New Buildings Institute

  • New Embodied Carbon and Codes factsheet
  • EC building code language to be adopted in June
  • Next week Getting to Zero Forum i
  • MnRoad Tour
  • EC Workshop and sessions next week
  • Net Zero Buildings Week – June 12 - 16,#DecarbonizationForGood
  • Seattle working group to discuss embodied carbon code proposals that were submitted at the beginning of the year
  • CallGeen embodied carbon proposals – heavy oppositions, hearing in August 1-3, sign up to speak and connect for more info
  • Working on two webinars this fall – collect info about other efforts, content and date at next roundtable, connect to collaborate

Karen Kokernak - ULI

  • 45k members, publishing, meetings, etc…
  • Will be participating in Net Zero Building Week
  • Decarbonization work, embodied carbon campaign
  • Embodied carbon convening in January – publish Urban Land Article
  • Webinar in April – lessons learned and next steps
  • Sustainable Materials Report – published in next few weeks
  • ULI Spring meeting – May 16th
  • Late summer - industry meeting

Lionel Lemay β€” National Ready-Mix Concrete Association (NRMCA)

  • IRA and GSA specs, other fed agencies, comments on low carbon program
  • Modify specifications to allow for low carbon concrete – educating agencies, guide specs
  • Education – top 10 way to reduce carbon footprint
  • Concrete innovations – offering solutions and innovations to reduce carbon footprint
  • ASHRAE – codes to reduce EC in building materials
  • State legislative activities:
    • NJ passed low carbon legislation andOpen air collaborative
    • Maryland new legislation, likely will be passed – incentives for EPDs
    • Minnesota looking at something similar
  • CLF report on benchmarks will be used in legislative activities
  • Establish benchmark for industry – starting process now, many request for more granularity, application son concrete and regionality and local applications
  • for EPDs, IW EPD and Benchmarks, Guide Spec for Low Embodied Carbon, Top 10 Ways to Reduce Concrete’s Carbon Footprint.
  • for monthly webinars on low carbon concrete.
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