Embodied Carbon: Why Truly Net Zero Buildings Could Still Be Decades Awayby Ljubomir Jankovic
Carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions come from two sources: using things (known as operational emissions) and making things (embodied emissions). For a familiar example of the first kind, your home probably burns natural gas for heating and uses electricity that fossil fuels may have generated. Governments plan to eliminate these emissions by making buildings better insulated and airtight so that they need less energy and ensuring renewable sources, such as wind and solar, generate enough power.
But what about the second kind – those embodied emissions that arise from making the thermal insulation, solar panels, bricks and concrete blocks in energy-efficient buildings?