IMEG’s 2023 Embodied Carbon Action Plan aims for greater carbon reductions in projects

By Laura Hagan

In 2023, IMEG will begin its third year as a signatory firm of the Structural Engineers 2050 Commitment Program. The SE 2050 Commitment was created in response to and support of the SE 2050 Challenge, which calls on all structural engineers to understand, reduce, and ultimately eliminate embodied carbon in their projects. To help guide our teams in taking steps to reduce and sequester embodied carbon in the built environment, IMEG’s Structural Sustainability Task Force created an Embodied Carbon Action Plan (ECAP)  in 2022 and recently updated it for the year ahead. (Click on the image at right to read the 2023 ECAP.)

As we look back on our last year and a half and set new goals for the coming year, we’re aiming higher and targeting bigger goals that will increase our impact in the effort to reduce embodied carbon in our projects and help our clients reduce their carbon footprint.

Some of our 2023 ECAP goals include:

  • Institute mandatory structural sustainability training for all new structural employees
  • Submit 30 additional projects to the SE 2050 database, an increase from 15 projects submitted in 2022
  • Complete a structural Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for at least one project from each of our 25 structural offices
  • By the end of 2023, develop and deploy IMEG structural specifications for lowered embodied carbon in concrete
  • Develop an IMEG standard benchmark for project GWP for building materials and use
  • Create a material-specific embodied carbon reduction plan that lists different strategies for reductions in each stage of the design process and share it with structural staff
  • Share opportunities with our clients to reduce embodied carbon in their projects, with the goal of six touchpoints per structural office per quarter
  • Follow the Buy Clean Act legislation that is being proposed in our respective city and project locations, as well as at the federal level
  • Continue to ask manufacturers to reduce the embodied carbon of their products and ask for EPDs to encourage the industry to provide them

Our Structural Sustainability Task Force continues to reflect on our progress and build upon these goals as we push to achieve net zero embodied carbon in our structures and identify both successes and setbacks. We are encouraging IMEG’s team members to advocate for lower embodied carbon and are creating educational resources to help our clients reduce embodied carbon in their projects over the coming years.

We have certainly learned a lot and gained much experience over the past year and a half and we’re looking forward to achieving these goals alongside our clients!

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