ACAN Embodied Carbon Campaign wins ASBP 2021 Award
ACAN’s Embodied Carbon Campaign has won the 2021 Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) Award. Usually awarded to built projects, this year the ASBP, which champions the understanding and use of sustainable building products, chose to award transformative ideas instead.
Founded in 2011, the ASBP is a cross-sector organisation committed to accelerating the transition to a healthy, low carbon built environment through increasing the use of sustainable building products. It’s “Six Pillars of Sustainable Construction” consist of; health and wellbeing; resource efficiency; whole-life carbon; ethics and transparency; technical performance; social value.
ACAN’s values are aligned with those of the ASBP. Some of ACAN’s Embodied Carbon Campaign team members came across the work of the ASBP when studying at the Centre of Alternative Technology and became members. Resources such as the EPD briefing papers released at the start of 2020, and the subsequent webinars held, were a way-in to understanding the topic of embodied carbon in more depth.
ACAN's Embodied Carbon Campaign graphic
“The campaign is real proof of the power of the collective, and winning the ASBP Award really hammers home how it is possible to have an impact as a group of passionate individuals”
Rachael Owens, ACAN Embodied Carbon Group Co-ordinator
Architect at Buckley Gray Yeoman, Rachael is part of the Sustainability Forum, is studying towards WELL accreditation and guest lectures at the University of East London on low-carbon design
The award was judged by members of the ASBP Board who offer a variety of expertise across the construction industry. Judge Jane Anderson, director, ConstructionLCA, praised ACAN on the wide and active participation of people in the initiative, and its impact. You can watch the awards ceremony back here.
It was important to the ACAN Embodied Carbon Group to bring together many expert voices and knowledge from across the sector, to contribute to the campaign. Though the team recognises the importance of collaboration, not only within their group, but also across the industry, and the ASBP is another important partner to making progress. Plenty of inspiration was found in the other shortlisted projects that also sought to empower individuals and communities to make change too.
The ASBP Award win will help build the momentum of the campaign, and proves that there is consensus to the change in regulation it calls for. This is a consensus that reaches beyond the UK, to countries such as Norway, France and the Netherlands, which already regulate embodied carbon.
The ASBP Award, designed by Dylan Jones and Phoebe Oldfield and made by The Wood Lab team out of local Ash & Cherry from regional woodland thinnings
“With COP fast approaching, this is the perfect moment for the UK to follow in the footsteps of other European countries that already have embodied carbon regulations”
Matteo Sarno, ACAN Embodied Carbon Campaign Member
An experienced architect, Matteo is currently working on a low carbon extension of a 17th century dining hall in Oxford and renovations of Victorian houses in London, focusing on methods using bio-based materials and natural insulation.
Over the next few months ACAN members will be working to engage with politicians, policy makers, local councils, manufacturers and developers to explain the importance of regulating embodied carbon emissions, and the urgency required.
You can get involved by visiting the campaign homepage and downloading the full report. We have prepared a template letter to send to your local MP, along with the short briefing note. We are looking to build cross party support for regulation, so please help us engage with MPs across the country.
"Our petition, asking the government to regulate embodied carbon has over 750 signatures, and you can help us reach of target of 1000 by signing here."
Seb Laan-Lomas, ACAN Embodied Carbon Group Co-ordinator
Architect at Hopkins Architects and convenor of its Sustainability Group, Seb has been an important lead on ACAN's Future Homes Standard and Save Safe Structural Timber campaigns.
"We will not stop until the UK introduces Embodied Carbon regulations. Without them we have no chance in meeting carbon emission reduction commitments."
Sophia Ceneda, ACAN Embodied Carbon Campaign Member
Architect and Sustainability Lead at Glenn Howells Architects, Sophia is also co-director of Carbogno Ceneda Architects recently awarded for her own self-built low carbon house in London.