Glossary entry

Embodied Carbon (Embedded Carbon)


Option 1 (as defined in Rory's Clause)

Embodied Carbon means the Greenhouse Gases that are emitted through the production and delivery of building materials for and used in the Development.

Option 2

Embodied Carbon (also known as Embedded Carbon or Embodied Energy) means the total Greenhouse Gases emitted in the [construction of the Development/manufacturing and production of the Goods]. This includes those emissions caused by extraction, manufacture, transportation and assembly of every element in the [Development/Goods], as well as emissions caused by deconstruction at the end of the [Development’s lifetime / Good’s useful life] (if applicable). It does not include operational emissions.

Drafting notes

Embedded Carbon is used interchangeably with Embodied Carbon and appears to mean the same (see Greenspec: Embodied Carbon & EPDs in References below).

The concept of embodied carbon is particularly relevant to the construction and property sectors as it is used to ensure that GHG reductions are achieved for the whole lifecycle of a development. For example, GHG reduction targets will not be achieved if a development has high embodied carbon even if its operational carbon emissions are low.

The concept is also relevant in product design. Industry standards such as PAS 2080: 2016 Carbon management in infrastructure (see References below) encourages companies to manage their Carbon Footprints, with an emphasis on embodied carbon. It can be used to compare environmental impacts of different materials, designs and processes, and can therefore be used to help promote alternative options which reduce emissions.

Option two follows the approach taken by University College London Engineering and The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) (see References below) by including emissions caused by deconstruction and disposing of the building’s elements at the end of its lifetime. The definition provided by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) (see References below) includes emissions caused by maintenance but this does not appear to be included in the definition used by other organisations.


Development agreements, construction agreements, planning documents, procurement and supply chain agreements.