November 24, 2020

CLF 2020 Highlights for Embodied Carbon 

Join Our Year-end Webinar!

Join us on Friday, December 11 from 9-10 AM PST to celebrate our collective success in reducing embodied carbon over the last year. During this meeting you’ll have the opportunity to connect with our members who led the Wood Carbon Seminars, The Structural Engineers 2050 Commitment, and policy work that’s helping scale carbon smart building practices across the US. We hope you’ll join us!

Time: Dec 11, 2020 09:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 927 0974 3284

One tap mobile +12063379723,,92709743284# US (Seattle) +12532158782,,92709743284# US (Tacoma)

Carbon Leadership Events & Webinars


Global Passive House Happy Hour. Every Wednesday at 7pm EDT. Register

Recent Webinar Recordings


Carbon-Storing Bio-Architecture with Dr. Wil Srubar, Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering and Materials Science at CU Boulder, Founder and Managing Director of Aureus Earth, and Co-Founder of the CLF.

CLF Wood Carbon Seminars: (1) Background and Basics, (2) LCA and Wood, (3) Tracking Carbon in North America, (4) Wood and the Building Industry, and Q&A. Recordings and Slides

Carbon Cure presents Buildings Sequester Carbon: Repositioning the Building Industry, with Carl Elefante, President of the American Institute of Architects 

Embodied Carbon 101 (BSA): Basic Literacy, EPDs, Structure, Envelope, MEP, Interiors, Procurement, Carbon Accounting, Certifications + Commitments: Overview and Deeper Dive, Making the Case, Process + Firm Culture. Recordings

CLF Event Information

CLF Webinar Recordings

Global Passive House Happy Hour Presentation Recordings

MIT CSHub Webinar Recordings

Featured Upcoming Events (subject to change)

November 24: Building Circularity (Australia) - Virtual

November 30-December 10: Global Concrete Summit Virtual. Hosted by NRMCA and partners. Similar to what NRMCA has done in the past (such as the Concrete Technology Forum and International Concrete Sustainability Conference) but this year with a strong focus on embodied carbon.  Unique to this conference will be a virtual environment, based on the Virbela environment where you will actually “attend” a conference -- a break from the routine of video meetings. 

Recent News, Research, Resources, and Discussion

Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) news and media.

C40 Announcement!: Oslo, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Budapest Commit to Clean Construction, Moving the Industry Towards a Sustainable Future. Today, November 24, the mayors of Oslo, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Budapest have pledged to halve emissions from all construction activities in their cities by 2030, in collaboration with leading companies and innovative business communities. Through the targets in C40’s Clean Construction Declaration, mayors pledge to revolutionise the global construction industry and shift it towards a more sustainable future

Embodied Carbon: Key Considerations for Key Materials identifies the importance and urgency of addressing embodied carbon and provides an overview of high-emission building materials such as concrete, steel, wood, aluminum, glass, and insulation. In this piece, Anthony Pak of Priopta identifies blind spots in embodied carbon such as wood production, HVAC systems, refrigerant leaks, and inefficient use of space.

Whole-Building Life Cycle Assessment: Comparison of Available Tools - Victoria Herrero Garcia of Ambient Energy discusses WBLCA standards, workflow, LCI databases and EPDs, output reports, and reflections on LCA tools Athena IEB, Tally, and One Click LCA, with additional remarks on eTool. This is an excellent guide for anyone who wants to understand the nuts and bolts of WBLCA in order to pick a tool and use it successfully.

Embodied Carbon: An Architect’s View will highlight the CLF’s global reach with this report from South African architect Lloyd Rubidge. Though policy solutions and specific strategies may vary regionally, the issues are global. Take action early in the design process. Opt for building reuse over new construction and efficient uses of space and material. Specify product-specific EPDs, then track your reductions through WBLCAs.

The City of Vancouver presented their Climate Emergency Action Plan report to City Council on November 3. One of the first of its kind, this plan targets a 40% reduction in emissions between 2018 and 2030. The plan requires a 10% reduction in embodied carbon among projects built next year and increases to 40% by 2025. After 2030, new targets will be introduced to go beyond 40% reduction.

CLF now has regional hubs in Atlanta, Austin, Australia, Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Denver/Boulder, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and Yellowstone. Join or start a regional hub now to help expand our network.


Join and Support the Carbon Leadership Forum

We invite you to join the our movement! You can help us fund and conduct critical research, build out our resource library, engage in our collaborate network through informative webinars and action-oriented focus groups, and develop member-led initiatives.


Written by Martin Torres
Edited by Fred Bernstein

This newsletter is meant to increase awareness and understanding of the important work being done to reduce embodied carbon in buildings. If there is something we missed or an emerging news story that should be on our radar, email

About the Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington

Who We Are

  • The Carbon Leadership Forum accelerates transformation of the building sector to radically reduce the embodied carbon in building materials and construction.
  • We pioneer research, create resources, foster cross-sector collaboration, and incubate member-led initiatives to bring embodied carbon emissions of buildings down to zero.
  • We are architects, engineers, contractors, material suppliers, building owners, and policymakers who care about the future and take bold steps to eliminate embodied carbon from buildings and infrastructure.


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Carbon Leadership Forum
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98105-5726
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