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3.2.2Develop resources for assessing the life-cycle emissions of building materials


  • Not started

  • Planning

  • Implementation

  • Completed


There are carbon emissions associated with the extraction, manufacturing, transportation, installation, use, and disposal of building materials: the embodied carbon. Tools for assessing such emissions can help builders and developers to choose materials that have low embodied carbon. It will also be important to include equity impacts as a metric in life-cycle emissions resources.

This action will be led by Sustainable Waterloo Region with support from WR Community Energy, in collaboration with industry associations.


WR Community Energy is currently leading a study on region-wide Green Development Standards for new building construction in partnership with the Region of Waterloo and area municipal planning & building services departments. As referenced in the WRCE 2022 Progress Report, Green Development Standards (GDS) are a critical policy tool for municipalities to ensure our new buildings are future-ready and meet our community needs. In 2021, WRCE worked collaboratively on a region-wide GDS in two phases. Phase 1, completed in fall 2022, focused on educating the broader municipal and utility partners on GDS. The objective was to understand and measure our level of ambition for these standards. Developing resources for assessing the life-cycle emissions of building materials will be tied to the next phase (phase 2) of the development of GDS.

In the spring of 2023, Councils in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge as well as the Region of Waterloo endorsed proceeding with initiating a work plan to initiate consultation and research to prepare a harmonized standard including the townships starting later this year.


Sustainable Waterloo Region (SWR) is hosting an even regarding life-cycle emissions later in 2023/early 2024. Details of the event are still to be finalized, but topics will include scope 3 emissions including but not limited to building materials. This event is primarily for the Impact Network members, but can also be available to the greater public for a fee.