Construction Industry Commitments to reduce Embodied Carbon

This post has now been updated.

In the lead up to COP21 in Paris, a number of companies made high profile commitments to reduce their carbon impact, but companies such as Interface, Wilmott Dixon and Marshalls have been making serious commitments to reduce the embodied carbon associated with their products or buildings for many years.

What is important for me is that the number of companies who have made commitments on embodied carbon is growing.

In this blog, I want to highlight the companies within the construction and property sector that have made public commitments to reduce the impacts of their manufacturing processes, or the impacts of their products – both of which should reduce the embodied carbon of construction products, or who have committed to reduce the embodied carbon of the buildings they commission, design, build or operate.

I am sure there are many more companies not listed here, please let me know via comments and I will update the list.  Pledges taken from UKGBC or the Whitehouse American Business Act on Climate Pledge if no other link provided.

AkzoNobel ” We are committed to increasing our resource efficiency across the value chain to reduce our environmental footprint and to create more value from fewer resources. We target 25-30% improvements in resource efficiency and energy use across the entire value chain by 2020 (measured by cradle to grave carbon footprint reduction). ”


British Land: ” By 2020 we will deliver a 15% reduction in landlord embodied carbon intensity for projects over £50m against 2015 per m² .”

Carillion: “Carillion are working alongside other industry leaders, companies and government authorities to achieve effective, lasting carbon reduction at scale. We all committed to cut 24 million tonnes of carbon from UK infrastructure contracts by 2050 under the Infrastructure Carbon Review.”


Feilden Clegg Bradley: “We pledge to continue its work in low energy design and in particular:  1) To examine ways of reducing to embodied carbon in our buildings, ”

Greengage: ” We will provide bespoke advice to each and every client to enable them to understand what they can do to achieve meaningful long term action against climate change. We will focus on the three key areas of energy management, embodied carbon reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation. ”

HAB: “We will also target significant reductions in embodied carbon in construction”.

HS2: ” We commit to minimising the carbon footprint of HS2 as far as practicable and to delivering low carbon long distance journeys that are supported by low carbon energy. To support this we will set carbon targets and work with our supply chain to manage and minimise carbon emissions associated with the construction and operation of HS2″.

Hanson Heidelberg Cement: ” We have targets to reduce carbon emissions by 10 per cent and energy emissions by 5 per cent per tonne of product by 2020 based on a 2010 baseline”.

Interface: “Interface established its Mission Zero® promise to eliminate any negative impact the company has on the environment by 2020 and, supported by our entrepreneurial spirit, we’re well on our way to achieving it”.

“If we’re successful, we’ll spend the rest of our days harvesting yester-year’s carpets and other petrochemically derived products, and recycling them into new materials; and converting sunlight into energy; with zero scrap going to the landfill and zero emissions into the ecosystem. And we’ll be doing well … very well … by doing good. That’s the vision.” Ray Anderson, 1997.

Kingspan: “We commit to achieving net zero energy across all sites by 2020, with an interim target of 50% by 2016. ”

Lafarge Holcim globally: We will continue with our mission to cut our net CO2 emissions by 40% per ton of cement by 2030 (vs 1990).  We will continue to develop and market innovative products and services to prevent 10 million tons of CO2 being released every year from buildings and infrastructure.

Laing O’Rourke: ” We will produce independently-verified carbon footprints for our main off-site manufactured (pre-cast) products by 2020 and we will reduce our direct carbon emissions by 50% by 2020 (compared to 2009 baseline).

Marshalls: “This policy applies to all Marshalls businesses and covers our direct and indirect emissions, including our supply chain. The policy requires Marshalls to:
• Reduce our corporate Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by at least 15% by 2012, 26% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. These reductions are measured against a 1990 baseline.
• Begin this process with a 2,000 tCO2e pa reduction year on year initially.
• Reduce specific emissions (in terms of kgCO2e/t of finished product) by 3% pa.”

Mitsubishi Electric: “We will aim to reduce CO2 emissions from product usage by 30% (2001 baseline) and CO2 emissions from production by 30% (1991 baseline), both by 2021.”

SKANSKA: “Our Journey to Deep Green™ has put climate and resource considerations at the heart of our business planning since 2010. Through our Journey to Deep Green™ we define Green and Deep Green Targets in our business plans.”

Sturgis Carbon Profiling: “We will continue to provide leadership to educate, inform and encourage those we work with to deliver truly low carbon buildings through ‘Whole Life’, ie both Embodied and Operational emissions reductions. We will also work to deliver a UK wide implementation plan for delivering Whole Life Carbon reductions in accordance with BS EN 15978 by mid 2017. ”

Tata Steel: “As proud members of ULCOS (Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking Partnership) which has the stated goal of developing technologies capable of reducing the CO2 emissions of steel production by 50% by 2050, and as host to its leading pilot project, Hisarna, we will continue to invest in research & development in the search for ways to reduce CO2 emissions through breakthrough technology.”

Willmott Dixon: “Reduce carbon intensity by 50% by 2020, compared with 2010.”

Yorkshire Water: “Yorkshire Water has recently endorsed the Government’s Infrastructure Carbon Review and, in doing so, made a number of commitments to reduce carbon in the construction, operation and maintenance of our assets. One of these commitments is that by 2020 we aspire to be halving the carbon emissions embodied in the new assets we build, compared to a 2015 baseline. We believe that this will not only reduce carbon but also help us to find new cost efficiencies.”

About constructionlca

Co-author Green Guide to Specification, expert in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), EPDs and sustainability for the construction materials sector Researching Building LCA and how we can increase uptake at the Open University. Tweets as @constructionlca
This entry was posted in CO2, Embodied Impacts, Global Warming and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Construction Industry Commitments to reduce Embodied Carbon

  1. Great to see so many companies pushing LCA and embodied carbon in the right direction. Dont forget eTooll!! We provide Life Cycle Assessment consultancy and software fully compliant with EN15978 and recently BRE IMPACT. In 4 years we have facilitated savings of over 460,000 tonnes of operational and embodied CO2e across a broad range of building and infrastructure projects.

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