Moving the millions to decarbonize with training, tools, data and well informed policy
By Panu Pasanen, CEO & Founder, One Click LCA Ltd
Our mission is to decarbonize the construction and manufacturing industries. One Click LCA is a life-cycle assessment software company with 120 experts and users in over 140 countries in construction, infrastructure, real estate and product manufacturing sectors. We’re also growing fast.
The construction sector employs millions of experts making daily decisions that determine the carbon impacts of the built environment. The manufacturing sector has millions of companies making products from concrete to cable ducts. Both sectors are highly fragmented with mostly small firms.
Tackling decarbonization in these sectors calls for a very broad base of the profession to have an understanding of the problem and the competence to tackle it, effective tools and data at their disposal, and most importantly a business environment that ensures low-carbon solutions prosper and receive investment, and others decline. We tackle this challenge with the following approach.
Training everyone in the world on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for free
We are committed to training everyone in the industry on low-carbon design, construction and manufacturing for free. Last year we trained over 10,000 people and this year we’re aiming to train 25 000 professionals; many more must learn these skills in the coming few years. We deliver many of these trainings through One Click LCA Academy, and further programs in cooperation with national green building councils and other organisations. We provide one week to two week-long programs with closing exams as well as short introduction training, and we cover both construction LCA and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) creation.
Delivering easy to use, fast and reliable LCA software that you can use for any project, anywhere
Pre-design and schematic design phases lock in the environmental impact trajectory of a project. While useful improvements can still be achieved later on, a project set on a business as usual trajectory will not become truly sustainable by improvements done in detailing or procurement.
This is why we developed Carbon Designer 3D. Software that allows the calculation of baseline carbon emissions and whole-building life-cycle assessment before design in a few minutes and quickly creates a range of options so that you can determine the best way to go forward pre-design. The only inputs required are location, building type and size. The software generates a baseline model, which can be customized with templates or individual material or quantity adjustments.
The platform includes all the world’s EPD data, a broad range of governmental and industry databases as well as an extensive library of generic data that we have created for modelling MEP systems and other elements for which public environmental data is in very scarce supply.
For the projects and especially for the countries that can’t afford commercial tools, we provide One Click LCA Planetary free of charge for embodied carbon modelling. We also signed partnerships with over 40 national green building councils, mostly from emerging markets, to provide a localized version of the software for their markets.
Making publishing Environmental Product Declarations faster and more affordable
Commissioning an EPD for a product costs upwards of $20,000. Creating customized tools brings the variable costs down for larger firms, but neither approach works for most product manufacturers. We launched One Click LCA EPD Generator with the intent of reducing the cost of EPDs for manufacturers by a factor of ten. We’ve not reached the target yet, but we’re making good progress every year.
Like our construction LCA software, our EPD software has been designed for ease of use. We train users in an extensive onboarding program on the EPD process and requirements, and provide them access to our EPD software, which makes creating LCAs and EPDs of construction products easy, fast and cost-effective. We also support customers to get EPDs third-party verified and published. The EPD generator is used for all construction products, as well as mechanical and system products.
Fostering the change in the business and regulatory environment
If we provide millions with the skills, the tools and the data, but the business and regulatory environment does not value sustainability, the impact will be limited. This is why we also work on very selective, but high impact policy projects which we always make publicly available. These include:
- Construction Carbon Regulations in Europe: Review & Best Practices. Review of all European regulations on construction carbon limits, including their detailed mechanics.
- Decarbonizing Construction: Guidance for investors and developers to reduce embodied carbon (with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development).
- City Policy Framework for Dramatically Reducing Embodied Carbon (with Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and Architecture 2030).
With the publishing work, we provide detailed guidance and methodology information to policymakers and businesses who are considering to, or are ready to implement policies to reduce embodied carbon and other environmental harm.
Going forward towards 2030
Our goal is to get one million people to work towards decarbonization powered by One Click LCA. While embodied carbon is essential for the livability of our planet, it is not the sole stress material extraction is placing on the livability of our planet. Circular material flows and preserving biodiversity of our ecosystems are equally important. In the past few years, the industry has achieved more on embodied carbon than in the preceding decade. We hope that in this decade we’ll also see breakthroughs for circular material use and biodiversity optimization, and will work towards those objectives as well.
About One Click LCA
One Click LCA is the world-leading, easy-to-use, and automated life cycle assessment software that helps you calculate and reduce the environmental impacts of your building, infrastructure and renovation projects as well as construction and other products. It also allows manufacturers to generate and publish third-party verified EPDs.
One Click LCA is used in over 140 countries by the leading businesses and other organisations. The software includes all construction material EPDs in the world and complies with over 60 standards and certifications. One Click LCA was founded in Finland in 2001 and has a team of over 120 people on all continents.
Our goal is to get one million people to work towards decarbonization powered by One Click LCA. While embodied carbon is essential for the liveability of our planet, it is not the sole stress material extraction is placing on the liveability of our planet. Circular material flows and preserving biodiversity of our ecosystems are equally important.