Embodied Carbon in Rwanda

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A Toolkit for Built Environment Practitioners to Measure and Reduce Embodied Carbon in Rwanda

Globally, buildings account for approximately 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute directly to climate change. Embodied carbon is the sum of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacturing, transportation, construction, deconstruction, and waste processing of new and replacement products throughout a building’s lifetime.

Africa, to date, has been a relatively small contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, but is expected to build more than any region in the world in the next 40 years.

This toolkit facilitates the embedment of embodied carbon assessments and reduction practices into building and infrastructure design and construction in Rwanda. It is intended to offer insight for many different readers including developers, investors, policy makers, manufacturers and researchers. However, those closest to the design and construction process should reference the toolkit regularly until embodied carbon reduction becomes standard practice.

There are three documents within the toolkit:

  • The guide. This comprehensive document contains background information on the impacts of embodied carbon, the contextually appropriate methodology for measuring embodied carbon, prioritized methods of reduction, the steps key stakeholders need to take to holistically reduce embodied carbon throughout the built environment, and the results of in-depth research that supports this toolkit, including: several case studies, refrigerant and cooling system impacts, construction waste and product service life.
  • Rwanda Embodied Carbon Calculator (RwECC). This spreadsheet uses the methodology presented in the guidance document to simplify embodied carbon assessments, making them accessible, consistent and contextually appropriate to practitioners in Rwanda.
  • Rwanda Embodied Carbon Calculator (RwECC) User Guide. This word document is an illustrated step by step process of how to use the RwECC.
  • This toolkit brings together global best practices and local knowledge to provide contextually appropriate solutions.