At COP 27 this week, Arup unveiled an international dataset on whole life carbon (WLC) emissions for buildings.
Using its new software platform Zero, Arup has collected and analysed WLC data from almost 1,000 of its building design projects across 30 nations on five continents.
This data has allowed Arup to estimate its ‘carbon handprint’, quantifying the scale of emissions arising from its global building design project portfolio to be approximately 350 times greater than its organisational carbon footprint.
The global design and engineering firm plans to use these insights to achieve the UN High Level Climate Champions’ Breakthrough Outcome for the Built Environment.
The Breakthrough Outcome calls for all new and refurbished buildings to be net zero in operation and to achieve at least a 40% reduction in embodied carbon by 2030.
Arup says the new dataset represents a primary metric to drive better decision making by property investors, building owners, designers, construction firms, and regulators, allowing carbon emission reduction options across building subsystems and lifespans to be identified and compared.
The firm is calling on other actors across the global property, construction and building design sectors to work together to establish open and comparable WLC datasets.
By joining forces to create large, comparable, and open datasets, the global property sector and its value chain can begin to scale net zero buildings, it said.
Alan Belfield, Chair, Arup, said: “Comparable and open whole life carbon data is the tool that will allow actors across the global property value chain to make better decisions about building decarbonisation – and to achieve significant emission reductions at scale and at pace.”
Nigel Topping, UN High Level Climate Champion for COP26, added: “The need to decarbonise buildings’ operational and embodied carbon is an urgent one if the global built environment sector is to contribute this decade to progress.
“We support Arup in its call for all non-state actors in the global property value chain to use whole life carbon data to drive rapid decarbonisation of buildings.
“The High-Level Champions are calling for all new and refurbished buildings to be net zero in operation and to achieve at least 40% reduction in embodied carbon by 2030 at the very latest.”
Are you a building professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.