CLF Embodied Carbon Toolkit for Building Owners

A Toolkit for Building Owners Working to Reduce Embodied Carbon

Investors, developers, and public or private building owners and tenants are essential to reducing embodied carbon because they play an important role in spurring new projects and setting project requirements. Prioritizing carbon early in a project reduces cost and increases the range of strategies available, while signaling markets about the importance of low-carbon materials.

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Corporate and Building Owner Commitments to Reduce Embodied Carbon

Building owner and corporate commitments to reduce embodied carbon are increasing. Net-zero commitments are expanding to include Scope 3 emissions, which should include an organization’s upfront embodied carbon in the form of value chain purchasing emissions. By taking steps such as those outlined in the primers above, organizations can take these commitments from goals to a reality.

Examples of building owner commitments that include embodied carbon reductions through scope 3 GHG and other sustainability commitments. Many companies have chosen to develop Science Based Targets related to scope 3 emissions that cover building materials, while others have made commitments specifically related to embodied carbon in the context of green building policies.

Accenture has joined the UN Global Compact Business Ambition to keep global warming below 1.5C and requires that 90% of their key suppliers (those accounting for 75% of scope 3 emissions) disclose their impact and take action to reduce emissions through channels like CDP Supply Chain.
Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge, which is a commitment to net-zero carbon across their business by 2040 (this includes scopes 1, 2, and 3).
Autodesk aims to achieve climate-neutral GHG emissions for scopes 1, 2, and 3 beginning in FY21 using an internal price on carbon. Their target is to achieve an 85% reduction by 2050.
Barclays aims to be net-zero by 2050. Barclays is working to reduce their scope 3 emissions by through working to reduce the client emissions that they finance. Their ‘financed emissions’ are tracked on a a climate dashboard.
Facebook is committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions for their value chain (scope 3) by 2030.
Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech’s Design & Construction standards require embodied carbon to be measured and reduced throughout the design process.
Hewlett Packard
Hewlett Packard is committed to net-zero by 2040, covering Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions compared to 2019 (excludes non-HP paper consumed during product use).
HSBC aims to achieve net zero in their own operations and supply chain by 2030 or sooner, and net zero in their financed emissions from their portfolio of customers by 2050 or sooner.
Kilroy Realty
Kilroy aims to reduce the embodied carbon of construction materials in development projects 30% by 2030 and 50% by year-end 2050. They are also aiming to reduce Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions 31% by 2030 and 72% by 2050 from a 2017 base year.
Lendlease aims to achieve net zero carbon by 2025 for scope 1 and 2 and absolute zero carbon by 2040 from all scopes and activities without the use of offsets.
LinkedIn aims to reduce their scope 3 emissions by more than half and remove more carbon than they emit by 2030.
Mastercard is working to reduce total scope 1 and 2 emissions by 38% and scope 3 emissions by 20% by 2025 from a 2016 baseline.
Microsoft aims to drive its operations and supply chain to be carbon-negative by 2030.
Nike aims to reduce their carbon footprint by 2030, with an absolute reduction of Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 65% and Scope 3 emissions by 30%.
By 2025, Salesforce will work with their suppliers to set their own emissions reduction targets, targeting 50% of Salesforce’s supplier emissions. After 2020, all major, new Salesforce office interiors will align with LEED Platinum v4 and pursue Net Zero Carbon certification.
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan’s carbon commitments are 1) to reduce emissions from purchased power (Scope 2) to net-zero by 2025, 2) eliminate direct, on-campus greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1) by 2040, and 3) establish goals for a wide range of indirect emission sources (Scope 3) by 2025.
Walmart is working with suppliers through their Project Gigaton to avoid a gigaton of GHG emissions from the global value chain by 2030.