AGC teams with big-name GCs for carbon task force

Dive Brief:

  • Associated General Contractors of America has created a Task Force on Decarbonization and Carbon Reporting, which aims to help address challenges construction pros face in reporting and reducing carbon emissions.
  • The mission of the task force is to develop an industry playbook on carbon reporting and conduct educational outreach. It includes some of the largest contractors based or working in the U.S.
  • The task force is part of AGC’s climate change initiative, which aims to shape climate change policies that impact the construction industry and reduce the industry’s environmental impact.

Dive Insight:

It’s not easy to fully measure and report carbon emissions in construction — the number of elements to take into account can be overwhelming, and Scope 3 emissions or value chain emissions are particularly hard to account for. These include emissions from indirect elements of a project like waste processing, employee travel, mining and transporting materials and manufacturing machinery and tools.

Construction is one of the most polluting industries, producing 38% of all energy-related carbon emissions, and it is not on track to decarbonize by 2050, according to the United Nations. That date marks the Paris Agreement timeline to achieve net zero emissions, to keep global temperature increases from exceeding 2.7˚F in order to avoid the most catastrophic and irreversible consequences of climate change.

Right now, the construction industry doesn’t have a clear measure of its own impact. Less than 1% of buildings are assessed to determine their carbon footprint, according to a report from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The industry has historically focused on measuring operational energy use and associated carbon, but to accurately capture a building’s true impact, the embodied carbon associated with construction, refurbishment and end of life must also be assessed, the report says.

Members of the decarbonization task force are: 

  • Swedish firm Skanska. 
  • Bethesda, Maryland-based Clark Construction. 
  • Redwood City, California-based DPR Construction.
  • Minneapolis-headquartered Ryan Companies.
  • Watsonville, California-headquartered Granite.
  • Omaha, Nebraska-based Kiewit.
  • Minneapolis-based Mortenson.
  • New York City-based Turner Construction Company.

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