Embodied Carbon Action Plan Requirements
One of the key components to becoming a signatory of the SE 2050 Commitment is creating an Embodied Carbon Action Plan (ECAP) that is consistent with the main tenets of SE 2050: ‘Act, Implement, and Share’. For many creating this plan will serve as an important first step in engaging in embodied carbon reductions.
We hope that the ECAP will serve as:
- An actionable, firm-wide strategy for developing sustainable design best practices
- A measurement framework with a continual focus on evaluation, adaptation, and improvement.
- A long-term planning tool to ensure ongoing alignment of values, goals, and practice.
- An information-sharing platform that enables communicating firm values to clients and peers.
Before documenting your ECAP we advise you first to engage the firm. Have a firm-wide discussion on what your firms’ values are and where they align with sustainability. This is a time to evaluate what best practices the first is currently engaged in and where it wants to be and how those best practices reveal themselves on projects. Have the conversation.
Each firms’ ECAP should be composed of the following four sections at a minimum: Education, Reporting, Reduction, and Advocacy. While there are no mandatory requirements we strongly recommend the following items be addressed within each section. Your firms’ ECAP should be evaluated and updated every 5 years. See published ECAPs here for examples to help you get started.
The first step to building engagement within your firm is through education. We all should strive to understand the impacts of our design decisions and the effects they have on our environment.
Address how you plan to:
- Share the SE 2050 Commitment with your office
- Educate employees on how to measure and report embodied carbon
- Educate employees on carbon reduction strategies
Create a Reporting Plan
We ask that provide the Program with structural material quantities and/or embodied carbon impacts for all of your projects. In the first year you are only required to provide 25% of your projects as we expect a data upload learning curve. Click here for a summary of what we require for each project at a minimum.
To successfully implement high quality data upload we recommend creating a reporting plan within the ECAP that identifies the following:
- Who will be in charge of managing the data upload? Will each project manager be responsible for their own projects?
- When will you upload your data? We recommend uploading within one week of submitting Construction Documents.
- How will you perform quality control over the data that has been uploaded?
Carbon Reduction Strategies
You are one of many firms that must employ strategies for embodied carbon reductions to scale successfully. But we recognize that each firm is different with different business models and workflows that will determine how a firm best employs firm wide strategies. We ask that you outline what your focus will be and how you will implement then. The following are a few questions to help get you started.
- Where does your firm stand with respect to the national benchmarks?
- Can you find ways on all your projects to reduce embodied carbon?
- How will you engage on projects and demonstrate your ability to reduce embodied carbon on the project?
- Does your project allow for salvaged materials?
- Are you employing performance-based strategies?
- Are you collaborating with other design team members for greatest impact?
True change can only come from industry-wide adoption. Consider planning opportunities to share your experience and knowledge within your firm, with your design community, and beyond. Host a webinar or lunch and learn, attend a conference, connect with the SEI Sustainability Committee, or reach out to manufacturers and policy-makers.
As part of your ECAP, how do you plan to:
- Share knowledge and data to accelerate adoption of embodied carbon reduction?
- Encourage industry and policy change incentivizing availability of low-carbon and carbon sequestration materials?
**Upload your ECAP here.