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New Embodied Carbon Law in Canada

By Team Accacia

May 24, 2023

The Canadian Standard on Embodied Carbon in Construction is a crucial legislation that provides a comprehensive framework for addressing carbon emissions in construction projects. It mandates stakeholders to measure, disclose, and mitigate embodied carbon throughout the project lifecycle. Compliance with this standard demonstrates a commitment to environmental stewardship and supports Canada’s sustainability goals. By promoting the use of low-carbon materials and efficient building techniques, it fosters a transition towards a more sustainable built environment.

The Standard on Embodied Carbon in Construction includes the following requirements:

  • Disclose the carbon footprint of structural materials
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of structural materials
  • Ensure that structural materials are specified by a professional engineer registered or licensed in the province or territory where the project will be implemented; and
  • Review the completed Embodied Carbon Disclosure Template (refer to the Embodied Carbon Project Disclosure Template) before project completion to ensure compliance with disclosure and reduction of carbon footprint of this standard;

Further these should include the following requirements in the procurement of construction services:

  • Ensure that the Embodied Carbon Disclosure Template (refer to the Embodied Carbon Project Disclosure Template) is secured by the organization before project completion, and that it lists the required information for each type of material identified
  • Disclose the embodied carbon footprint of structural materials measured in global warming potential (GWP) with Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) that:
  • Reference the material supplier’s name or professional association as a contributor;
  • Comply with international standards within the period of validity; and
  • Are produced using the highest available resolution life cycle inventory (LCI) data
  • Where EPDs are not readily available, provide a life cycle assessment (LCA) report that complies with international standards (International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14044, ISO 14025, and ISO 21930 or equivalent) and that is verified by an LCA reviewer as such a report is considered an acceptable equivalent form of disclosure.
  • Finally, submit to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, at the time of the annual call letter of the Greening Government Strategy, a consolidated report that details the embodied carbon footprint for all construction projects completed in the previous fiscal year that meet or exceed the thresholds. This information may be used for other reporting obligations under the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

Application

This standard applies to any new construction or renovation of real property in Canada at or above the thresholds at the time of solicitation of design services.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Requirement

For design services solicited on or after December 31, 2022, the embodied greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of procured ready-mix concrete shall be disclosed on a project basis and be substantiated with EPDs Project GHG emissions from ready-mix concrete are the sum of GHG emissions from all mixes used, calculated using the global warming potentials (GWPs) and volumes of each mix placed. The total project GHG emissions from ready-mix concrete shall be at least 10% less than those calculated using the GWPs of the baseline mix in the Regional Industry Average Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for the strength class of each mix and the volume of mix placed (see equations 1 and 2). The Embodied Carbon Disclosure Template must be used to demonstrate this outcome.

Equation 1:

/images/articles/equations/equation1.png

Equation 2:

/images/articles/equations/equation2.png

Where: Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) baseline represents the emissions calculated by the volumes of all the mixes used in the project multiplied by their regional average GWP as represented by:

/images/articles/equations/equation3.png

CO2e project represents the emissions from the concrete used in the project calculated by the volumes of all the mixes used in the project multiplied by their GWP as represented by:

/images/articles/equations/equation4.png

n = the total number of concrete mixes used in the project

Vol n = the volume of mix n (concrete to be placed)

GWPn = the global warming potential of mix n

BaseGWPn = the global warming potential of the regional baseline mix taken from the Regional Industry Average EPD for the strength class of mix n

Resources

Environmental Product Declaration Product Category Rules
  • Current versions of NSF International’s Product Category Rule (PCR) for Concrete
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14025 Type III
Standards for Environmental Product Declaration
  • Type II EPDs conforming to ISO 14021:2016 and ISO 21930:2017 may be used to substantiate the global warming potential (GWP) of materials used in a project if the Type II EPDs provide higher resolution than the available Type III EPDs and if the Type II EPDs were created using an independently verified tool
  • Carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies are used to reduce the GWP of a portion or all concrete supplied to a project, such as through carbon mineralization, a product-specific EPD shall be provided to substantiate the associated reduction in GHG emissions

Embodied Carbon Project Disclosure Template

The Embodied Carbon Project Disclosure Template must be completed for every applicable project to demonstrate that the requirements of the standard were met. The completed template is to be secured by the organization before project completion.

Embodied Carbon Project Disclosure Template:

Accacia: Embodied Carbon Compliance Solution

Accacia is an AI-enabled SaaS platform that helps developers manage, report & reduce the embodied carbon of their projects.

The platform tracks embodied carbon emissions from various design and construction stages of the assets:
  • Concept Stage
  • Design Stage
  • Technical Stage / Pre- Construction
  • Construction Stage
A structural engineer/ designer/ architect can optimise the design for lowest carbon emissions, further the platform can provide suggestion on alternate materials with lower global warming potential value.

This information can be used to reduce the overall environmental impact of the project. Once optimized, developers can implement these changes in construction, ensuring that their projects meet the Canadian Embodied Carbon standard criteria.

NYC’s Bold Move Towards Sustainability

By Team Accacia

May 16, 2023

New York City has established itself as one of the largest and most influential real estate markets worldwide. Its impressive accomplishments range from constructing some of the world’s earliest skyscrapers and most attractive public spaces to attracting leading investors, owners, tenants, and residents from around the globe. Given its significant influence, it’s no surprise that New York City is taking the lead in addressing one of the most significant challenges of our time: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from real estate operations.

As the largest contributor to the city’s GHG emissions, real estate operational emissions, both for residential and commercial buildings, need to be addressed on an ambitious scale. This is where NY Local Law 97 (LL97) comes into play. LL97 is part of NYC’s Climate Mobilization Act and sets carbon emissions caps for energy use in New York City’s large buildings starting from 2024. The law aims to bring down emissions by 80% by initiating limitations on building emissions, encouraging building owners to embrace sustainability, and shift towards energy-saving methods and renewable energy use in their buildings.

LL97 has far-reaching implications on building owners and managers in NYC. Building owners and managers must demonstrate energy reduction by at least 40% from 2024 onwards, rising to at least 80% from 2029 onwards. This is a highly ambitious target, which is precisely what is needed to make a significant contribution towards reversing the impact of climate change.

  The law requires significant investments in upgrading some of the aging building stock to energy-efficient HVAC systems, better building controls, and reduction in energy wastage, as well as a shift to non-fossil fuel-based energy. For most building owners and managers, this will mean significant upfront costs for these upgrades, and LL97 leaves no choice but to make these investments. Non-complying buildings will face heavy penalties and legal action, leaving no room for half measures, partial investments, or failing to meet the reduction targets. It’s important for building owners to understand the penal implications that come with LL97, and it comes in various forms:

  • If owners/managers of buildings covered under law don’t report emissions, the fines are levied @ $0.5/ sqft / month. While that doesn’t look like a big number upfront, imagine that you own a 100k sqft building in NY, that penalty adds up to $50k/month or $600k/year in fines. And that’s simply for not reporting emissions.
  • The other scenario is that a building owner invested in decarbonization but took half measures and eventually failed to meet the emission reduction targets. The penalties still apply and they’re not insignificant by any means – $268 for every tCO2e above the limit during the first period of 2024-2029. The penalty for the second period (2030-2034) is likely to be higher.

LL97 received a warm welcome from climate activists and is hailed as one of the biggest single carbon reduction efforts ever undertaken. Comprehending a law that impacts so much of New York city’s building environment will be extremely critical over the next 20 years. It would be of no surprise LL97 will set the landscape for more such legislations to get passed across the United States and other regions.

Climate risk and the opportunity for real estate

By Team Accacia

May 11, 2023

Climate change, previously a relatively peripheral concern for many real-estate players, has moved to the top of the agenda. Investors committed to net-zero, regulators set reporting standards, governments targeted emissions with laws.

GHG Protocol supplies the world’s most widely used GHG accounting

By Team Accacia

May 6, 2023

The first step for financial institutions to manage risk, uncover opportunities related to greenhouse gas emissions, and embark on the path to decarbonization is to measure the emissions linked to their financial activities.

SGX’s sustainability knowledge hub

By Team Accacia

May 4, 2023

SGX’s sustainability knowledge hub aims to provide a one-stop information platform for easy access to the latest sustainability-related publications, engagement, disclosure standards and frameworks, and resources on key topics


ESG Disclosure Guidance by Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange

By Team Accacia

April 28, 2023

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange has committed to promoting sustainability in financial markets by becoming a partner exchange of the United Nations-led initiative, Sustainable Stock Exchanges.

https://adxservices.adx.ae/WebServices/DataServices/contentDownload.aspx?doc=1704806

Dubai Financial Market ESG Reporting Guide

By Team Accacia

April 15, 2023

In line with its commitment to drive market growth and sustainability in financial markets, Dubai Financial Market (DFM) has introduced this ESG Reporting Guide to assist listed companies to incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance.

SEC Proposes Rules to Enhance and Standardize Climate-Related

By Ashi Shah

April 4, 2023

The SEC proposed new rules that would require registrants to disclose climate-related information in their periodic reports and registration statements. This includes disclosing climate-related risks that could significantly impact their business.

Lead the way to a low carbon future

By Team Accacia

March 22, 2023

Science-based targets provide companies with a clearly-defined path to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals. More than 4,000 businesses around the world are already working with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTI).

SASB Standards Overview

By Ashi Shah

March 9, 2023

SASB Standards enable organizations to provide industry-based sustainability disclosures about risks and opportunities that affect enterprise value. SASB Standards highlight critical ESG issues for 77 industries that affect financial performance.

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