Embodied Carbon 101: Making the case

Learn how to speak with clients and collaborators about embodied carbon to demonstrate the value of and pathways to reducing its impacts.


Addressing embodied carbon in one’s practice requires strategy, communication, and collaboration. This course addresses how AEC practitioners can speak with clients and collaborators about embodied carbon to demonstrate the value of reducing embodied carbon and to provide pathways to reduce its impacts in projects and the environment. Learners will hear from sustainability professionals whose practices represent traditional architectural firms, large engineering and consulting firms, and small design/build practices who share approaches to reducing embodied carbon in cooperation with clients, including: managing client choices by selecting and presenting low embodied carbon materials and designs; marketing and external communications; making the economic case for use of low embodied carbon materials and designs; drawing parallels between embodied carbon and materials and occupant health; and developing mutual goals and values with clients and project teams from the early stages of a project.

Learning objectives

  • Participate in early discussions with project team and collaborators to identify areas in which each discipline can reduce embodied carbon through material choices and material reduction.
  • Effectively offer material alternatives to traditional materials that will reduce embodied carbon, improve material and occupant health, and, in some cases, reduce costs.
  • Systematize external communications to clearly articulate the importance of reducing embodied carbon in relation to environmental health and sustainability values and to propose straightforward ways for clients to begin addressing embodied carbon.
  • Analyze a project for potential embodied carbon barriers and opportunities, and develop and propose alternative pathways to address barriers and optimize opportunities.

This course is part of a series

User rating:
Average: 4.1 (94 votes)
 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • RIBA


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