Every week, the world constructs enough new buildings to create a city the size of Paris. However, the carbon impact of these structures remains largely unknown. It is estimated that over 99% of building projects worldwide do not calculate or report their carbon footprint. Without understanding this impact, we cannot effectively decarbonise the towns and cities we live in or meet the 1.5°C target set by the Paris Climate Accords.

We urgently need collaboration across the building sector to collect and share carbon emissions data. At COP26, we committed to assessing our global building design portfolio using whole life carbon (WLC) techniques. Since then, we’ve built an international dataset which includes 1,400 building design projects across 50 countries, enabling fact-based decisions to reduce emissions.

Our WLC case study shares an exploration of our experience capturing data for 800 of those projects in 2023. We are publishing it here so that others in the wider industry might benefit from understanding the challenges we have faced and the lessons we have learnt so far.

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Whole life carbon assessments at global scale: A case study