The Price of Construction Carbons


Distribution of Construction CO2

ConstructCO2 now allows the calculation of a ‘shadow’ carbon price for carbon emissions from the construction process. The default price is set at £29 / tonne, based on current available data as used by other organisations within their shadow carbon pricing exercises (1) However ConstructCO2 also allows for any user or project to set their own carbon price.

Carbon pricing is increasingly being used to drive carbon reductions, through internal costing arrangements, and as awareness or preparation for what many see as an inevitable carbon future regulations or taxation.

In the light of the Paris Agreement, the calls from businesses and activists to put a price on carbon are becoming louder. To keep global warming below the Paris target of 2 deg C, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world will need to get to zero net emissions urgently.

Construction processes are part of the climate change problem but a vital part of the solution , and by introducing an operating cost by factoring emissions into bottom-line calculations through carbon pricing will be part of the construction industry contribution to carbon reduction.

See FT article: Companies accelerate use of carbon pricing and for example the advertising group WPP, who use an internal price of £29 a tonne of CO2 when buying or refitting buildings to understand “the impact of future energy and carbon regulations on our business”.

1 thought on “The Price of Construction Carbons

  1. Neil Swift

    Hi Martin,
    What continually frustrates me as an architect specifying materials is having to go down the less environmentally friendly option because its cheaper. That’s cheaper without taking into account carbon and the environmental damage caused from cradle to grave. Stone from Spain rather than the local quarry (that’s if you have any left in your area) Polyurethane insulation over wood fibre are just two that spring to mind. Interested to know your thoughts on a road map to change this.
    As you are aware if carbon where priced it would reignite local commerce and industry, create new vernacular architecture, customs, culture art etc – it would be brilliant and create increased biodiversity and resilience.



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