June 2021

Noticing the Potential

by Anthony Hickling, Managing Director, Carbon Leadership Forum

It’s likely that the carbon challenge is bigger than anything we've faced since civilization arose a few short millenia ago. We'll need to be urgent, realistic, and far-sighted to meet this challenge successfully. It won’t help to look at the crisis through rose-colored glasses. Yet I feel cautiously optimistic about our collective progress.

This month's newsletter contains evidence from our CLF Community that energy, ideas, connection, creativity, passion, and expertise are NOT in short supply. Over the past year, the number of self-organizing CLF Regional Hubs in cities around the world has more than doubled to 29, and more are forming all the time. The newest Hub in Bengaluru, India convened its inaugural meeting on May 29 with 160 attendees and presentations from companies and professional organizations spanning the Indian construction Industry.

And most remarkable, 15 Girl Scouts in Madison, Wisconsin, ranging in age from seven to eleven, produced a video to educate architects, engineers, planners, developers, business leaders and policy makers involved in building decisions about the importance of reducing embodied carbon in concrete and other building materials. I have truly never seen a more comprehensive or powerful argument for pivoting to greet the challenge. Please join with me in celebrating our capacity to transform the world.

Member Impact  

Rachel Baker
Washington Environmental Council

Tommy Gibbons
Founder and COO of Hempitecture

Marnese Jackson
Leadership Team, Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition

Chris Erickson
Founder and CEO, Climate Earth Inc

Find out what our members are doing to address embodied carbon
Learn More
Webinar: Biogenic Materials in Construction  

Growing the Built Environment!

Friday, June 18, 2021, 9-10:00 am PST

Join us with Julie Kriegh, Chris Magwood and Wil Srubar to hear about the state of biogenic (plant based) materials in construction. We'll discuss what's currently available in the market as well as emerging technologies and practices that help store carbon in building materials.

Register in Advance

Wisconsin Girl Scouts on a Mission to
Educate an Industry

"Girl Scouting encourages girls to explore, identify problems, find practical solutions, and make their ideas a reality. They can have impact as young people by raising awareness about a topic. Embodied carbon and concrete are global issues with practical solutions awaiting greater public awareness." — Troop Leader Julia Pooler

Concrete Climate Ideas: Girl Scouts Talk Building Materials & Embodied Carbon

A short film by Girl Scout Troop 1477 about embodied carbon and lower-carbon concrete. The film is targeted to architects, engineers, planners, developers, business leaders and policy makers involved in building decisions.

Troops 1477 and 1952 Produce Educational Video
on Embodied Carbon in Concrete

by Julia Pooler, Girl Scout Troop Leader

Girl Scout Troops 1477 and 1952 of the Wisconsin Badgerland Council decided they wanted to do a project to raise awareness about solutions to climate change. After looking into the biggest contributors to global warming, they were surprised to discover that embodied carbon of materials, especially concrete production, was a major factor. The Girl Scouts realized that among climate change topics, materials and concrete were less commonly discussed.

They also realized that as as Girl Scouts, they just might be able to reach a broader audience and have a material impact on a global challenge. The video they produced also turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to learn concepts in chemistry, engineering, architecture, planning, business, and policy, and to help them consider careers in these fields.

I hope that people who are planning buildings will see our video and talk with architects and engineers. They can encourage them to think about their materials in terms of what they need them to do and be open to using lower carbon concrete. I hope we inspire them to look up more detailed information. Some of the greener options are just as good at doing the job and give off less CO2.

Kara King, age 11

Read the Story & Share the Video!
Changing the World
One City at a Time

CLF Regional Hubs Flourish in Philly, Phoenix, Minnesota, Seattle, Boston, Austin, Atlanta, Ottawa, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Alberta, New York City, Omaha, Vancouver, Bengaluru, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Capetown

...and the List Goes On!

Since the first CLF Regional Hub launched in Vancouver, Canada the fall of 2019, new Hubs have flowered around the world. Hubs are are convened by groups of CLF Community members to help interested professionals share best practices, discuss solutions, and spread the word about embodied carbon.

Hubs initially arose without any particular guidance or strategic planning. However, this spontaneous growth was driven by a deep sense of urgency, and a profound desire to collaborate across our industry. By the spring of 2021, Regional Hubs had been initiated in 29 cities across the globe, from Boston to Bengaluru, from Omaha to Ottawa.

Read the Full Story

The Embodied Carbon Challenge for India


Kickoff for CLF Bengaluru Outlines Opportunities
for Collaboration and Action

by Abhinav Sujit, cofounder of the CLF Bengaluru Regional Hub

India is expected to grow drastically in terms of both real estate and population by 2050. The country is expected to a see a complete makeover due to a burgeoning population of 1.7+ billion residents accompanied by a shortfall of supporting infrastructure. The question this brings to all our minds is what form will this revolution take?

We launched the CLF Bengaluru Hub with a meeting that featured senior representatives of the key national organizations in India’s building and real estate industry, who came together on a single stage for the first time to endorse a common agenda for addressing the challenge of climate change. Over 160 people attended the event.

Read the Full Story

This month’s action checklist

Join the online CLF Community – focus groups, information, collaboration, research, resources, exploration, innovation.
Check out News You Can Use with comprehensive coverage of the movement to reduce embodied carbon.
CLF Webinar: Biogenic Materials in Construction. Register Now, Friday, June 18, 2021, 9-10:00 am PST.

About the Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington

Who We Are

  • The Carbon Leadership Forum accelerates transformation of the building sector to radically reduce the embodied carbon in building materials and construction.
  • We pioneer research, create resources, foster cross-sector collaboration, and incubate member-led initiatives to bring embodied carbon emissions of buildings down to zero.
  • We are architects, engineers, contractors, material suppliers, building owners, and policymakers who care about the future and take bold steps to eliminate embodied carbon from buildings and infrastructure.


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