Transparency in the carbon labels for construction materials : a comparison of three carbon labelling schemes
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Peng WuPeng Wu, Y Zhong, Y Feng, X Jin
The construction industry is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions. Manufacturing of raw materials, such as cement, steel and aluminium, is energy intensive and has considerable impact on the carbon emissions level. Due to the rising recognition of global climate change, the industry is under pressing stresses to reduce carbon emissions. Carbon labelling schemes are therefore developed as a meaningful yardstick to measure and compare carbon emissions. The design of current carbon labels have some transparency issues relating but not limited to the use of a single sign to represent the comprehensiveness of the carbon footprint. These transparency issues are partly caused by the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to measure carbon emissions. Transparency in carbon labels is very important and it is highlighted in the new PAS 2050: Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services and ISO14067: Carbon footprint of products – requirements and guidelines for quantification and communication. A comparison of the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme, the CarbonFree (the U.S.) and the Carbon Label (UK) is therefore conducted to identify and investigate the transparency issues. Based on transparent carbon labels, consumers can choose truly environment-friendly materials and the construction industry can then move closer towards being a “green” industry.