Canadian Consulting Engineer

Arup commits to eliminate embodied carbon in projects by 2050

February 24, 2021

A new program provides resources and guidance to meet the goal.

SE 2050

Consulting engineering firm Arup has joined the Structural Engineers 2050 Commitment Program (SE 2050) to support co-ordinated action across the profession to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050.

Launched by the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the program provides resources and guidance to ensure substantive embodied carbon reductions are achieved in the design and construction of our structural systems. Arup is a member of the inaugural group of signatories, along with 13 other firms.

While sustainable design has traditionally been the realm of architects and other design team members, structural engineers can play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, given structural materials make up at least 50% of the upfront carbon embodied in a building.


“Our most widely used structural materials—cement and steel—are responsible for nearly 12% of worldwide GHG emissions,” says Frances Yang, Arup associate and SE 2050 vice-chair. “It is crucial to slash these emissions if we are to stay within our planet’s critical 500-gigaton additional carbon dioxide (CO2) limit to avoid irreversible climate change.”


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