The growing importance of embodied carbon has been highlighted by a recent report undertaken by the committee on climate change (CCC).
This report has revealed that the UK’s carbon footprint has seen growth of at least 10% despite domestic savings, in no small part due to rising levels of imports and associated embodied carbon. It it is reported that greenhouse gas emissions produced in the UK have fallen by 19% since 1993, however, the increased consumption of imported products and services and the associated emissions of their production is estimated to be approximately 40%.
The CCC has concluded that action is ‘essential’ on imported emissions if the Government is to meet its overall carbon emissions. It is clear that businesses and government alike should be reviewing their strategy in relation to imported carbon emissions; this could be challenging supply chains, making better and more efficient use of resources, or changing customer habits. For example, in construction we challenge companies to reduce carbon emissions in the first instance from refining procurement and estimating and secondly by ensuring any unused resources can be utilised on other charity and local community projects.