Can embodied carbon data be rolled into Scope 3 reporting?

Abstract image for story about embodied carbon data and Scope 3 reporting
Image: Zlikovec |

How can embodied carbon data be used and included within Scope 3 emissions reporting? That’s the question the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) wants the built environment’s answer to.

The UKGBC has drafted a detailed proposal of how embodied carbon data can be included within Scope 3 reporting. The deadline for the industry’s feedback is 5 December.

The draft document proposes that upfront embodied carbon should be calculated on a yearly basis. Furthermore, it proposes that architects and engineers should generate project-based embodied carbon reporting.

The UKGBC said: “This guidance aims to establish a coherent link between Scope 3 reporting and embodied carbon assessments, supporting strategic emissions reduction efforts. It underscores the need for a cohesive approach. And it enables organisations to accurately monitor, report, and manage their carbon footprint across the lifecycle of built assets.

“Using embodied carbon assessments directly within Scope 3 reporting represents an easier and more detailed solution when compared with traditional spend-based approaches. However, it’s recognised that it requires as-built embodied carbon assessments to be undertaken across all projects during construction and in-use. Therefore the methodology within this document represents an aspirational goal for industry to work towards.”

Project-level emissions

The UKGNC also noted: “Due to the necessity to accelerate emissions reduction across industry, and the importance of Greenhouse Gas Protocol reporting as a link to financial and business decision-making, project-level emissions assessments and their inclusion in Scope 3 reporting should become standard industry practice.”

The reporting solution for architects and designers should:

  • report the as-built upfront embodied carbon of whole assets;
  • be easy to understand and implement, to not create another complex reporting process;
  • meaningfully communicate the emissions that have taken place in that reporting year; and
  • effectively communicate how the portfolio of projects and business strategy will need to change over coming years to reduce embodied carbon.

The draft proposal features input from the likes of Arcadis, BAM, BDP, Berkeley, Canary Wharf Group, Hawkins\Brown, ISG, Lendlease, Multiplex and Turner & Townsend.

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