Request for ESG data of Building Materials: Starting with Embodied Carbon Initial
Release Date: January 28th, 2021
Dear Building Material Partner, Over the past year the world has fundamentally changed. The pandemic has made us realize how quickly our social and economic stability can be disrupted on a global scale.
More importantly, we have realized that this is just the beginning. Environmental issues are a far greater threat to long-term societal and economic stability. Of these, climate change is arguably the most urgent.
Over the past decades, changes in climate have affected certain areas of the world more acutely than others. However, the severity, frequency and number of people and areas affected has now become global and is steadily getting worse.
This doesn’t have to be the case.
The real-estate industry accounts for approximately 49% of global carbon emissions, of which 21% are from building materials (11% and an estimated 10% from architectural and interior finish materials respectively). As an industry, we play a critical role in addressing climate change. However, we must do so while considering other ESG issues as well. Unfortunately, reliable information on the embodied carbon of products and other ESG (Environmental, Social Governance) impacts of building materials remain incredibly difficult to find.
Whether it be climate health (embodied carbon), human health, societal health, ecosystem health or product circularity, the lack of data on critical ESG impact areas of building materials renders holistic informed decision-making highly complex.
We realize that the tools and know-how exist to generate this data. We also realize that many building manufacturers have been waiting for a clear market request.
Most importantly, we realize that this clear market request must come from building owners. It must also be supported by their Consultants, Architects, Engineers and Contractors. Equally importantly, we believe that this information must be made publicly available.
To this effect, we are making the following statements:
– Our procurement requirements, including RFPs and specifications will now begin to include requests for data on areas of holistic ESG impact of materials, starting with embodied carbon data. Equivalent building products with data developed and documented in compliance with nationally and internationally recognized standards will be prioritized over those without.
– Of the products with data, to the maximum extent practicable as data and tools continue to become available, further prioritization will be placed on the following:
– Product specific data over Industry wide data.
– Verified third-party data over self-declared data.
– With respect to embodied carbon, products with assessments conducted as per ISO14025, ISO14067 as well as EPD-Type documents conducted in accordance to ISO21930 and/or EN15804.
Best practice case studies and progress will be shared via Architecture 2030’s Low Carbon Building Material Challenge program (launching in Asia), ULI’s Greenprint Center, and other supporting organizations such as the Carbon Leadership Forum and Building Transparency, to help raise the level of knowledge across the industry, as well as the quantity and quality of available resources.
Manufacturers seeking more information and resources, please click here.
Manufacturers seeking to submit materials and products with ESG data, please click here.
Thanking you in advance for supporting us in supporting you.
‘Signed: Primary Signatories:
Supporting Signatories: Architects, Interior Designers, Engineers, Consultants and Contractors.
Supporting Signatories: Manufacturers.
Supporting Signatories: Industry Groups.