Skip to content

MECLA Working
Group 2 - Evaluation

Working Group 2 – Evaluation (WG2) is consortium of knowledge experts contributing to the advancement of embodied carbon measurement and benchmarking for materials, building and infrastructure. The working group analyses the opportunities and challenges in using different methodologies for benchmarking embodied carbon, creating assets industry can use to better understand the current state of play. 

Under the guidance of  Caroline Noller, CEO and Founder at The Footprint Company and Lucy Marsland, Environmental Designer at Atelier Ten, WG2 delivered a discussion paper on Upfront Carbon in the Built Environment.

"Embodied carbon is complex. To assist with the industry's understanding of the state-of-play, WG2 has compiled an information paper which presents in a "plain English" format issues across Standards/Inventory Calculation and measurement methods/benchmarking methods/functional and declared units/an inventory of calculators and database resources."
Image of Caroline Noller, CEO of the Footprint Company
Caroline Noller
CEO and Founder of The Footprint Company

Embodied / Upfront carbon measurement and benchmarking is in a dynamic state, which is evident from the information presented in this document. A critical goal for the sector is to evolve measurement approaches that allow for consistent, comparable and reliable benchmarking – or sufficient capacity in the sector to make adjustments to achieve suitable comparability. The goal of “apples for apples” comparability has been central to cost consulting aims for decades. The development of operating carbon measurement and benchmarking has also evolved over a decade. For the industry to succeed in achieving deep reductions in a timely manner, measurement and metrics are essential.

MECLA WG2 plays a crucial role in the Australian ecosystem, bringing together industry, research and government representatives from 100+ organisations. Currently, the WG meets quarterly to discuss the current state of measurement and evaluation in Australia.

MECLA WG2 Discussion Paper

In 2022 WG2 produced a discussion paper reviewing the various quantification approaches to embodied carbon. The intention of MECLA is not to indentify a preferred benchmark method. The aim is to provide a review of available options for benchmarking performance. The method that is preferred by a user will depend on the information they have available, the stage of design and consistency with other embodied carbon calculation methods in use by the individual/organisation.

To create this document WG2 was divided into four sub-task groups in order to:

  • Identify and map the hierarchy and relationship of relevant embodied carbon “Standards” & definition myth busting

  • Research empirical methods for benchmarking dealing with all methods of LCA for ease of benchmarking in the user context

  • Define best suited “comparable” units suitable at a material and building scale, compare to current practice

  • Compile an inventory of calculation tools and life cycle inventory data and profile suitability to Australia

You can now access the full document on the MECLA website.

Sign up to the MECLA newsletter today

Keep up to date on upcoming MECLA events, emerging news in the construction sector and everything happening in embodied carbon across Australia.