KPMG Origins Asset Impact helps organisations in meeting the new reporting obligations for embodied carbon under the NSW Sustainable Buildings SEPP.
A Greener Construction Sector
Measuring embodied carbon is an important step towards reducing the carbon footprint of the construction industry, and it can have significant benefits.
- The construction industry contributes 37% to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
- Embodied carbon, the carbon emissions associated with construction materials in a building, is becoming a key environmental concern.
- Measuring embodied carbon can help identify areas for emissions reduction and improve sustainability.
- Reducing embodied carbon can have significant economic benefits such as lower energy and maintenance costs and improved occupant health and productivity.
- KPMG Origins Asset Impact can allow accurate measurement and reporting of embodied carbon in construction projects.
The construction industry has come under increased scrutiny for its significant role in contributing to climate change, contributing an estimated 37% (UNEP, 2022) to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. While the initial focus was placed on energy efficiency and other strategies to reduce operational carbon emissions, the embodied carbon associated with construction materials is now front and centre in the environmental agenda.
Embodied carbon refers to the carbon emissions associated with the extraction, manufacturing and transportation of building materials, as well as the construction process itself. It is estimated that if no action is taken, embodied emissions will make up 85% (PCA, 2021) of Australia’s built environment emissions by 2050. Measuring embodied carbon is an important step towards reducing the carbon footprint of the construction industry, and it can have significant environmental and economic benefits.
One of the key reasons why measuring embodied carbon is important is that it helps to identify areas where emissions can be reduced. By measuring the carbon emissions associated with different building materials and construction techniques, builders and designers can make more informed decisions about which materials to use and how to construct buildings in a more sustainable way. For example, using locally sourced materials can significantly reduce the emissions associated with transportation, while using recycled materials can help to reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing.
Measuring embodied carbon can also help to improve the overall sustainability of buildings. By designing buildings with lower embodied carbon, designers can help to reduce the environmental impact of new construction. This can include using sustainable materials, optimising the design to reduce waste, and considering the full life cycle of the building. By taking these factors into account, builders and designers can create buildings that are not only environmentally friendly, but also cost-effective and efficient.
In addition to its environmental benefits, measuring and reducing embodied carbon can also have significant economic benefits. By reducing the carbon footprint of new construction, builders and designers can help to reduce the long-term costs associated with owning and operating a building. This can include reduced energy costs, lower maintenance costs, and improved occupant health and productivity. In addition, by designing buildings with lower embodied carbon, builders and designers can help to future-proof their investments against changing regulations and shifting consumer preferences.
In conclusion, measuring embodied carbon is a critical step towards reducing the environmental impact of new construction. By identifying areas where emissions can be reduced and designing buildings with lower embodied carbon, builders and designers can create buildings that are not only environmentally friendly, but also cost-effective. As the construction industry continues to evolve, it is essential that we prioritise sustainability and work to reduce our collective carbon footprint.
KPMG Origins Asset Impact allows builders and designers to measure embodied carbon from construction projects accurately and in line with industry recognised standards. This enables tracking and reporting carbon footprints in a trusted and transparent way.