dicembre 2022

Hope, Fear, and Love

by Andrew Himes, Director of Collective Impact, Carbon Leadership Forum

I've been reflecting recently on how rapidly our world is changing. Obvious examples are the accelerating pace of the climate crisis, increasing frequency of extreme weather events, melting ice, rising seas, population displacement, and so on. Within the building industry, it's equally clear that radical reduction of embodied carbon has become a central focus of our conferences and webinars and even of our intentions and plans. Some would say that this new, more holistic focus on carbon is a sign of hope in the face of climate despair.

But I don't think so. Because the close partner of hope is depair (or fear), and one can so easily turn into the other. It is so easy to believe that hope is our essential motivation for working to make the world a better place. And when we see signs of disaster unfolding around us, it is just as easy to imagine that our failure is also possible or even inevitable. 

The alternative to both hope and fear is love: our deep connection with the natural world and our friends, families, communities—our loving relationship with all that is true and vital, vibrant and meaningful. We do this work because we are warriors, activated by courage and love. Margaret Wheatley, author of the the classic Leadership and the New Science, in a recent video held up a glass containing water. We are taught to think of this as a metaphor, she said. If we see the glass as half full, we are called optimists, and if half full we are called pessimists. Optimists have hope, we imagine, and hope enables action. 

Wheatley suggests an alternative. A warrior, she says, looks at the glass annd says, "Oh look, there's water! I wonder who needs it, and how I can get it to them?" At our core, we strive to calculate the embodied carbon of buildings and infrastructure, to develop benchmarks and targets for carbon reduction, to devise policies and design buildings in harmony with our planet's health, to share lessons we've learned and resources we've developed because we are warriors and we are driven by love.

Warm regards,


Impatto sui membri  

Justin Schwzhoff
Architect and embodied carbon research lead, LMN Architects

Jessica Martinez
Structural Sustainability Specialist – DCI Engineers

Josh Jacobs
Director of Sustainability, WAP Sustainability

Ramesh Gulatee
Architect/NCARB, LifeCare Design Studio, LLC., Illinois

Find out what our members are doing to address embodied carbon
Per saperne di più

2022 CLF Impact
Rapporto pubblicato


A Changed Landscape for Embodied Carbon Action

In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the Carbon Leadership Forum experienced rapid growth, confronted expanded opportunities for impact, and faced new challenges. Increasingly, the topic of embodied carbon has moved to the center of the conversation for the green building movement, and companies, organizations, policy-makers, and design professionals are confronting the carbon challenge with a new degree of urgency and focused attention. Read what CLF has been doing to accelerate system-wide change.

Read the Impact Report
New CLF Staff
Research Jobs
Now Open

The Carbon Leadership Forum Seeks Applicants for Several New Staff Positions

The Carbon Leadership Forum seeks applicants for several new staff positions

The Carbon Leadership Forum is hiring for several new positions that will support our mission to reduce embodied carbon reductions in the built environment, including for a new research initiative from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program, for which CLF will investigate the science and methods of carbon drawdown and storage, and develop a robust LCA framework and ecosystem of tools that can support the flow of data on novel materials into robust, comparative Whole Building Life Cycle Analysis (WBLCA) tools.

  • Direttore delle operazioni
  • Borsa di studio post-dottorato: metodi computazionali per lo sviluppo di strumenti LCA
  • Ricercatore di edifici e materiali (Ingegnere di ricerca 2)
  • Ricercatore di edifici e materiali (Ingegnere di ricerca 3)
  • Ricercatore di edifici e materiali (Ingegnere di ricerca 4) 
  • Coordinatore della ricerca 
  • Borsista post-dottorato: analista di dati LCA

Take a look at the details for all of our open and upcoming titles on our careers page.

Explore Jobs at CLF!

CLF Welcomes Embodied Carbon Interns


Program Prepares Undergraduates to Become Embodied Carbon Leaders

The Carbon Leadership Forum has recently launched an internship program designed to introduce students early in their educational careers to the fundamentals of life cycle assessment and to promote understanding of how addressing embodied carbon is essential to solving the carbon challenge. The three interns selected for the first year of the program are Delilah Canales, Clare (Vivi) Kondrat, and Prajin (Zing) Uttamchandani.

Meet the Interns!
Presentazione di Prajin Uttamchandani  
Meghan Byrnes Byrne quote

Editor's Note: Prajin is a student at the University of Washington currently seeking a degree in Architecture, with a focus on sustainability. Past research and environmental restoration projects encourage an ongoing commitment to climate justice through continued academic experiences and work with the CLF. Prajin’s beliefs are centered around taking racial and economic disparities into account when working towards carbon reduction and broader climate action.

by Prajin Uttamchandani

Growing up in the age of digital communication has shaped the way I and others view the world around us. The threat of the climate crisis has loomed over our heads at every waking moment. Even as a child, I recognized that the world around me was at risk of collapse: with record breaking heat, cold, and rains, every day brought a new headline signaling impending disaster. The adults around me encouraged my learning about this, reminding me that I had the power to fix the mistakes that their generation had helped create.

I remember being aware of the power of nature all my life: even in third grade I wrote a book, as well as a third grader can, about Yellowstone National Park. I knew that the world was powerful. In fourth grade, I wrote about electric cars, learning as much as I could about them. I knew that human behaviors were damaging the world. As the years went on, I continued to learn about the climate crisis. Our natural environment is critical to our survival, and human behavior was on track to pillage it until nothing remained. I decided to do something about it.

Read Prajin's full story

Arup: Galvanizing a Movement, Scaling Change


Interface Carpet

Arup has found in CLF a partner of mutual support and enrichment, sharing a vision of robust technical guidance and collective action to decarbonize our built environment. 

CLF’s fundamental belief in the importance of empowering the design community resonates with our firm’s actions to take ownership over our design influence. In 2021 we announced our commitment to Whole Lifecycle Carbon Assessments, both embodied and operational, on Arup’s building projects globally.

Sharing a Vision of Robust Technical Guidance and Collective Action

by Frances Yang, Structures and Sustainability Specialist at Arup

Prior to the formation of the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) in 2009, there were few well established networks for Arup to share knowledge and insights on embodied carbon across the AEC industry. Since then, Arup has found in CLF a partner of mutual support and enrichment, sharing a vision of robust technical guidance and collective action to decarbonize our built environment. Arup has provided expert review for an expansive suite of CLF-led work needed to propel our mission forward, including the LCA Practice Guide, US Concrete PCR version 1.0, the 2017 Benchmarking Study, and Material Baselines Methodology Beta. Simultaneously, CLF has played a key advisory role for many Arup efforts to tackle embodied carbon at scale.



Read the full story!

This month’s action checklist

Unisciti alla Community CLF online – focus groups, information, collaboration, research, resources, exploration, innovation.
Watch Andrew Himes' TEDx Talk: "Change Our Buildings, Save Our Planet" Buildings can be an existential solution to climate change -- not an existential threat.
MEP 2040 Challenge: A rapidly growing movement to decarbonize building systems. Sign the Commitment!

About the Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington

Chi siamo

  • 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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