Embodied carbon: Why It’s Important, and Why I Was Asked to Measure It

Sean Lockie
Ecobuild 2012 sees the RICS present their draft standards and guidelines for the measurement of embodied carbon.

Nearly 20 years ago, I completed a degree in Resource Management, one of the first of such courses available. At its heart was ‘Sustainable Development’. It took a further decade for industry to understand what that meant, and how to respond.

Jump forward 18 years to 2010. The recently appointed Government Chief Construction Advisor Paul Morrell called for industry to ‘agree with government a standard for measuring embodied carbon’.

The RICS has responded to the challenge with the publication of an embodied carbon guide, for which Faithful+Gould was commissioned as lead author.

At the time, as a practice, Faithful+Gould had been involved in calculating and mitigating embodied carbon emissions on projects in both the UK and abroad. Some of these were very high profile. This is why I think we were chosen by the RICS to lead this work. Supporting us has been a steering group containing a number of the major surveying practices.

Faithful+Gould will be launching the guide along with the RICS at Ecobuild, March 20-22 at ExCel London, with the hope that it will give Government the methodology it needs to allow meaningful calculation, quantification and mitigation of these harmful emissions.


To find out more about embodied carbon and what makes it important to your organisation, click here to view our Q&A with Sean Lockie. And for further updates and other news and articles don’t forget to sign up to our LinkedIn group, Constructive Expertise.

Hear more about this emerging hot topic and more from our head of sustainability at Ecobuild Wednesday 21 March, or click here to find out more about how your organisation can benefit from our sustainability and carbon management expertise.