ESG Series Episode 2: Clara Bagenal George at Elementa Consulting & Louisa Bowles at Hawkins\Brown

Speaking to Blackstock Consulting founder Andrew Teacher, both Clara Bagenal George of Elementa Consulting and Louisa Bowles of Hawkins\Brown said that there needs to be consensus across the UK on what net-zero means for different types of buildings. 

As members of the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI), a network of over 1,000 built environment professionals working to put the UK on the path to net-zero, Bagenal George and Bowles have played a critical role in helping align industry views in this area. 

When thinking about net-zero, we need to consider the whole life cycle of a building, by breaking down carbon emissions into two categories: operational and embodied. The former is the carbon footprint of running and managing a building on a day-to-day-basis, while the latter encompasses all of the emissions associated with the maintenance, repair, extraction, production and transportation of materials.

Bowles and Bagenal George both celebrated the progress that has been made around creating a clear definition of operational carbon, and improving public understanding, however, they agreed that much remains to be done when it comes to embodied carbon. Bowles commented that this is largely because embodied carbon is “more abstract… They’re the unseen carbon emissions.” 

Being able to accurately calculate embodied carbon will have a radical impact on the approach and strategies of developers, investors and policy makers who up until now have most likely been miscalculating the embodied carbon of their portfolios. It will provide companies with a much more robust way of analysing performance and making decisions.

“The industry is beginning to redefine good,” said Bagenal George, and “anybody who’s not aligning with those targets will be behind when the buildings are built out.” 

Read the full article on Property Week.

Participants

Clara Bagenal George

Associate

Elementa Consulting

Louisa Bowles

Partner, Sustainability Lead

Hawkins\Brown

Andrew Teacher

Managing Director

Blackstock Consulting