CIET's Ask Us Anything series is a free monthly Q&A session with industry experts.

The Carbon Neutrality session featured Geneviève Gauthier, Becoming Carbon Neutral course trainer and EE Expert.

If you missed this Ask Us Anything, here is a key topic that was discussed during the session.



Question: Should carbon neutrality focus on embodied carbon or only on operational effects?


It depends on which standards or which framework you're trying to become carbon neutral, first of all. Second, most of the attention right now has been on operational carbon. For those who are not familiar with that term, it's mainly the carbon that is related to the energy-consumer side and maybe some refrigerant; your refrigerant or your direct operation.

"Embodied carbon" is language that is mainly used in the building industry. It's the carbon that's embedded in the construction materials. For instance, if you build a building out of wood instead of concrete, you actually store the carbon that was aborbed by the trees to grow. So that's basically a way to capture and store the carbon in the building with the building materials.

Should we focus only on operational carbon? Or also on embodied carbon?

Embodied carbon is terminology from Scope 3 emissions; it's indirect emissions that you omit. So both are important but I would say that right now there's still lots of opportunity, including technical and financially viable opportunties, to decrease the operational carbon. It's certainly a focus that everyone should but looking at, but if you are looking at building, extending a building, or building a new facility, you should look at embodied carbon because the building will be there for the next hundred years or so. The decisions we are making now have a huge impact on our future. That's something you should be looking at if you're looking at building a new building.


Discover Decarbonization Programs

Whether you're a current or an aspiring decarbonization professional, our Decarbonization Learning Path can help you identify the right courses and the best training sequence to achieve your career goals.

Becoming Carbon Neutral: Key Concepts, Strategies and Initiatives is a one-day program intended for managers and professionals wishing to learn about the various strategies that serve to achieve carbon neutrality in their organizations. Through concrete examples, you will learn the different terms and definitions associated with carbon neutrality, gain an understanding of the initiatives undertaken and commitments made by different governments and enterprises, and demystify the various approaches adopted to achieve carbon neutrality or, at least, significantly reduce GHG emissions. Learn more here.



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