Australia’s opportunity to cut embodied carbon in buildings and infrastructure

Embodied carbon emissions in materials used in Australia’s building and construction sector are the next frontier to significantly reduce carbon emissions.

A new report from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) identifies great potential to cut emissions in the building sector. On average, sustainability rated infrastructure projects achieve a reduction of up to one-third in embodied carbon compared to similar designs with no such measures.

The report, ‘Australian buildings and infrastructure: Opportunities for cutting embodied carbon’, helps quantify decarbonisation challenges in the sector and identifies opportunities to reduce its carbon footprint.

The report outlines solutions such as geopolymer concrete, concrete ad-mixtures, recycled materials and high strength steels to substantially lower emissions from embodied carbon.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said, ‘Australian developers and builders don’t have to choose between sustainability and saving on costs. The research shows that it is possible to achieve as much as 18% reduction in embodied carbon and save as much as a 3% reduction in material costs for typical building and infrastructure projects.’

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CEFC media release

Australian buildings and infrastructure: Opportunities for cutting embodied carbon (PDF 18 MB) CEFC