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KPMG Australia’s new tool calculates embodied carbon in buildings

KPMG Australia has announced the launch of Asset Impact, an innovative new product to enable the measurement, benchmarking and reporting of embodied carbon for the built environment.

Supported by the Office of the NSW Building Commissioner and piloted in collaboration with School Infrastructure NSW – Asset Impact is designed to support the building sector to achieve Net Zero targets.

KPMG Origins Asset Impact calculates upfront embodied carbon footprint of buildings by tracing building materials and enabling the reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in the construction sector.

With the construction sector contributing an estimated 40 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, one of the key industry challenges of the next decade is understanding, measuring and reducing the release of carbon associated with construction materials. To manage this, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations are increasingly being applied by investors analysing property portfolios to identify material risks and growth opportunities.

To meet Australia’s carbon reduction targets and deliver on ESG targets, action is needed now and one of the ways this can be achieved is through better traceability of materials used in construction and associated emissions data. However, research by the Office of the NSW Building Commissioner shows that the digital maturity of the construction sector is relatively low and this needs to evolve very quickly as the 2030 emission reduction milestone approaches.

KPMG Origins Asset Impact has been developed over the last six months in collaboration with the Office of the NSW Building Commissioner and KPMG’s market-leading carbon specialists and piloted on a recently completed school building, provided by School Infrastructure NSW.

The pilot focused on calculating the embodied carbon and upfront emission (scope 3) of the school building. The embodied carbon calculator expands on existing functionality of the KPMG Origins that previously was focusing on risk in the built environment. The Building Trustworthy Indicator provides a rating on the quality and resilience of a building based on the combination of information on organisations who worked on the building, the construction materials used and the certificates collected during the construction process.

Reliability and data-led outcomes will enable those financing and insuring built assets to fully understand emissions profiles – simultaneously supporting developers and asset owners with their ESG target reporting obligations.

“Environmental impact and carbon emissions have become one of the defining topics of our generation, and the building sector is a major contributor to this topic,” KPMG Origins’ Partner Laszlo Peter said. “Beyond aligning to KPMG’s ESG client agenda supporting industry and clients towards a decarbonised future, Asset Impact will help the construction sector and investors in the property market to get behind new initiatives such as the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (Sustainable Buildings) 2022, and help building constructors, owners and managers monitor and communicate the embodied emissions of buildings.”

David Chandler, NSW Building Commissioner said the introduction of market led technologies such as iCIRT like ratings, Building Trustworthy Indicator and the Asset Impact would all play an important role in improving the investment grade of building assets in the future.

“The NSW Government’s Construct NSW reforms are showing how well targeted industry capability building shifts the conversation from ‘red tape’ to genuine economic reform.”

Davina Rooney, CEO, Green Building Council of Australia said: “Leveraging technology to expedite the alignment between industry, material providers and regulators, both locally and internationally, will be critical to achieving Net Zero targets. Measuring embodied carbon at scale is a critical part of this challenge, and it is exciting to see tools like KPMG Origins’ Asset Impact product, support the built environment in this transition.”

For more information on the KPMG Origins Asset Impact, visit: https://kpmgorigins.com/embodied-carbon-measurement.

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