Policy Primer Educational Series
Policy is an essential step towards creating the scale of action required to rapidly reduce embodied carbon in construction. The policy primer series below begins with an introduction to procurement policies, also known as Buy Clean. Keep checking back to see additional primers on other policy areas.
Several key forms of embodied carbon policies to look out for in 2021 include:
- Procurement policies (like Buy Clean and material-specific variations)
- Climate Action Plans
- Building codes
- City zoning, land use, and building regulations and incentives, including building and material reuse policies
- Executive orders addressing embodied carbon of building and industrial sector emissions
Current Embodied Carbon Policy in the US
Embodied carbon policies are spreading rapidly across the United States. Hover over the map below to learn more about existing and proposed policies. For more information about the individual policies, see the links for each policy below the map.
- Buy Clean California Act (passed)
- AB-1365 (Public contracts: clean concrete)
- AB-1369 (Public Contracts: eligible materials)
- Caltrans EPD Implementation Project
- Marin County Low Carbon Concrete Code
- Los Angeles Executive Order No. 25 – LA’s Green New Deal, Sustainable City pLAn
- Los Angeles Clean Construction Declaration
- City of San Francisco Climate Action Plan
- Oakland 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan
- Dublin Climate Action Plan 2030 and Beyond
- Albany 2019 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan
- State of Washington HB 2412 (Buy Clean Washington, not passed)
- State of Washington HB 1103 (Buy Clean Buy Fair Washington, not passed)
- Executive Order 18-01 (State Efficiency and Environmental Performance)
- King County Strategic Climate Action Plan
- City of Seattle Priority Green Expedited Program
- City of Seattle Green Building Permit Incentives
- BE086 (Buy Clean and Buy Fair Minnesota Act, pilot bill)
- Amendment to HF278
- Minnesota B3 Program
- New Jersey
- New York
All Policy Resources
This webinar from the Sierra Club provides insights into federal and state level leaders from the Sierra Club and the United Steelworks. The speakers provide insights into: An overview of federal opportunities for a...
Energy Technology Perspectives 2020 is a flagship report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) released in September 2020 to provide a detailed analysis of the opportunities presented by electrification,...
The Climate Friendly Purchasing Toolkit is a series of documents developed by members of the West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum to aid public procurement leaders at all levels of government interested...
Developed through a partnership between the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, the developers of One Click LCA, and Architecture 2030, this report provides 52 policy solutions for cities looking to reduce the embodied...
Circular Economy in the Built Environment: Opportunities for Local Government Leadership provides an overview of opportunities to foster a circular economy, aimed at public policymakers, public agency staff and...
The CarbonPositive RESET! 1.5ºC Global Teach-In session recordings are a free resource for architects, planners, engineers, builders, developers and policymakers interested in taking action towards a “CarbonPositive...
The Clean Construction Policy Explorer was first released in October 2020 by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. This new tool provides an interactive map for exploring global city-level policies related to...
The 2020 Global Status Report For Buildings And Construction is the fifth status report published by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) providing an annual progress update on action to...
This document aims to provide an overview of key stakeholders and strategies for addressing the implementation challenges related to Buy Clean policy. Version: December 17, 2020Buy Clean is a procurement policy...
This resource provides an overview of the five basic components of Buy Clean and highlights key choices at each step. Version: December 17, 2020Buy Clean is a policy approach that aims to reduce embodied carbon in...
This resource aims to guide policymakers and procurement professionals in collecting high-quality embodied carbon data. Policies targeting the reduction of carbon emissions associated with building products require...
This resource provides insight into why embodied carbon is an urgent problem, how Buy Clean poses a solution, and an overview of the key policy elements. Buy Clean is a procurement policy approach that aims to fill...
The Buy Clean California Act was introduced and passed in the state legislature in 2017. It was the first case of Buy Clean legislation in the United States.
In 2021, AB-1365 and AB-1369 were introduced to fill in gaps in the Buy Clean California Act.
The Caltrans EPD Implementation Project collects EPDs for each eligible material in a Caltrans project in order to quantify total global warming potential (GWP).
The Marin County Low Carbon Concrete Code entails a set of requirements that reduces the greenhouse gas emissions of concrete while still maintaining the strength and durability of concrete.
Los Angeles’s Green New Deal Sustainable City “pLAn” incorporates embodied carbon.
Los Angeles is a signatory city to C40’s Clean Construction Declaration.
San Francisco, Oakland, Dublin, and Albany all have Climate Action Plans that include embodied carbon.