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Sweco UK

Sweco’s Matthew Mapp selected to join new UKGBC Embodied Carbon Task Group


The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has hand-picked a cross-industry team of 70+ experts to support its work on tackling embodied carbon emissions – and we’re delighted to confirm that our Head of Whole Life Carbon for Buildings, Matthew Mapp, has been asked to join the Task Group for UKGBC’s Reporting & Measurement project – part of UKGBC’s wider Advancing Net Zero Programme.

UKGBC’s carbon mission

Despite being a significant source of carbon emissions in the UK, embodied carbon is currently unregulated, and measurement and mitigation within construction is typically voluntary. As highlighted by UKGBC’s Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap, the accurate and consistent measurement and reporting of embodied carbon is critical to ensure meaningful and credible progress towards our net zero carbon goals, yet it is currently only addressed by leading organisations in the built environment.

To address this challenge, UKGCB is scaling up its activities to mainstream action on embodied carbon. As part of this work, UKGBC has recently embarked on a new project focussing on improving industry understanding and ability to accurately measure and report on embodied carbon emissions. Ultimately, the project’s aim is to drive the practice of embodied carbon measurement beyond early adopters to becoming common practice.

To support this ambition, UKGBC has mobilised a team of 70+ experts from across the built environment, ranging from developers, suppliers to academia. Working with the Task Group over the coming months, UKGBC is developing two crucial guidance documents.

Low carbon retrofits – building momentum for the circular economy

A refurbishment renaissance is quietly taking place in towns and cities across the country – but more needs to be done and faster if we are to meet net zero targets and meaningfully improve the way we plan and build the developments of tomorrow in the process. In this article, Matthew Mapp explores this rich area of opportunity for carbon action in a circularity context.

Targeted at practitioners across the industry, the first document will provide insight into the development and use of embodied carbon data, as well as specific guidance to help Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) teams improve the reliability, transparency, and consistency of their results.

The second publication will guide sustainability leadership teams to align their organisation’s Scope 3 reporting with embodied carbon calculations and increase understanding of how the two methods can complement each other.

Both guidance documents are due for publication in Autumn 2023.

UKGBC’s Head of Climate Action, Yetunde Abdul said:

“Embodied carbon is irreversible once an asset is built and can account for up to 50 percent of a building’s emissions over its lifetime. While many leading developers and infrastructure organisations measure and optimise the embodied carbon footprint of their projects, it is far from being mainstream practice.


Together with UKGBC’s Embodied Carbon Task Group, we’re hoping to accelerate a reverse in this trend. The time is now for industry to make tackling embodied emissions a priority. We must enable industry to undertake reliable calculations at scale, and then use this data to make climate conscious decisions about which projects are compatible with a net zero future.”

UKGBC’s increased focus on embodied carbon is being targeted during an important year for decarbonisation in the built environment, with newly published and forthcoming guidance updates expected from several professional institutions including from RICS, the Net Zero Carbon Building Standard, PAS2080, and the SBTi Buildings Pathway Project. UKGBC is working closely with stakeholders across industry to ensure our work complements that of other organisations.