May 28, 2020

Tech Giants Team Up to Support EC3 Tool and “Building Transparency”

Nonprofit is created to scale up the impact of the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator

In an unprecedented collaboration, five technology giants and one flooring maker are showing their commitment to a healthier environment by joining the board of Building Transparency—a nonprofit formed recently to increase the impact of a free-to-use digital tool for estimating embodied carbon in buildings, called the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce, along with veteran climate-activist Interface Inc., are part of the board of BT, which took over EC3 from the Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington.

May 21 marked the first meeting, online, of the 10-member BT board. The group’s goal is to engage leaders from the construction industry, manufacturing, owners and policymakers to cooperate to decarbonize the built environment. Its mission is to create an EC ecosystem in which best-of-class products, and innovation for new materials, can gain traction.

It is about “scaling impact,” says Kate Simonen, director of the decade-old Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) and chair of the board of directors BT, which has three other founding board members, besides Simonen.

For EC3 to scale, it needed “a home of its own,” separate from CLF, adds Simonen, a 2019 ENR Newsmaker for her work, beginning with forming CLF, in the area of decarbonizing building production.

The tech-giant board members declined to comment at this time about their BT participation. They include Salesforce’s Amanda von Almen, Google’s Andreas Gyr, Amazon’s Julia Raisch, Microsoft’s Katie Ross and Facebook’s Lauren Bonar Swezey.

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