GECA is thrilled to be one of over 41 leading companies to have joined forces with the NSW Government and WWF-Australia in a new coalition to decarbonise Australia’s building and construction industry.
The Materials & Embodied Carbon Leaders’ Alliance (MECLA) launched in April to drive reductions in embodied carbon across the building supply chain. GECA is proud to be a Founding Partner of this collaborative initiative.
Together, building and construction are responsible for 39% of all carbon emissions in the world. The emissions released during the manufacturing, transportation, construction and end of life phases of all built assets, commonly referred to as embodied carbon, have historically been overlooked despite contributing around 11% of all global carbon emissions.
Achieving drastic cuts in all carbon emissions over the next decade is critical to keeping global temperature rise to 1.5oC. Therefore, addressing embodied carbon is crucial to fighting the climate crisis.
This means working collaboratively to create demand for products like greener steel, concrete, cement and aluminium, and alternative products, including mass timber, and reused and reformed waste materials that we can use to decarbonise Australia’s construction industry, with the potential to export our innovations to the world.
MECLA was founded by WWF-Australia and the NSW Department of Industry, Environment and Planning, Presync, along with many industry partners including LendLease, Transurban, Boral, BlueScope, AdBri, Energy Estate, Investa, Built, Hyne Timber, and a range of engineers, architects, and building firms.
According to GECA’s Technical Manager – Carbon Strategy, Rodrigo Martinez, “It is wonderful to be part of this collaborative effort in the building industry to take action to deliver net-zero carbon outcomes. Embodied carbon is a critical subject that needs to be addressed in the industry to reach net-zero outcomes and contribute to climate change action.”
“Sharing perspectives and knowledge has become key in developing solutions and alternatives to mitigate carbon emissions. Having a holistic sustainability perspective is essential to ensure that there are no other trade-offs that outweigh our actions. At GECA, we look forward to contributing our expertise on identifying and developing best practices on sustainability standards for products and materials.”
Reflecting on the complexity of the construction ecosystem, MECLA includes Working Groups that cover both demand-side and supply-side of the industry, all working to align industry with the Paris Agreement targets and within the principles of Circular Economy.
The Working Groups will develop tangible and actionable measures for the industry to act on. These include:
• Demonstrating the demand and activating the supply of construction materials that meet net-zero carbon goals.
• Defining a best practice embodied carbon evaluation framework to increase transparency and accountability.
• Knowledge sharing through best practice education, case studies, myth-busting, demonstrations, and supporting innovation in materials and processes as part of a pre-competitive approach.
• Developing a common language for design specifications, procurement guidelines and tendering criteria as standard practice for government agencies and companies.
• Helping manage industry’s climate transition risks, risks associated with adopting innovative materials and the required skills development.
• Supporting materials such as steel, cement and concrete, and aluminium to reduce their carbon intensity.
The Alliance has transparent governance and anti-competition protocols that encourage all partners to work collaboratively and develop outputs that achieve collective goals of the broader industry.
MECLA is part of WWF-Australia’s Renewables Nation campaign, which advocates for Australia to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a renewables export powerhouse. By doing so, Australia can boost its economy, create tens of thousands of new clean energy jobs, and safeguard its position as a desirable, responsible trading partner in the global market.