Low emission building materials

The NSW Government is working with industry to encourage the voluntary use of low emission building materials or LEBMs. These materials include ‘green’ steel and concrete, and alternative products such as geopolymers.

Manufacturing traditional steel, concrete and aluminium produces high levels of carbon dioxide. Cutting these levels is a priority in the NSW Government’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Partnering with industry

We are growing demand for LEBMs in partnership with:

  • commercial builders
  • the infrastructure construction industry
  • asset owners
  • government agencies

What’s happening?

1) MECLA – Materials Embodied Carbon Leadership Alliance

Around 400 professionals from the building industry and government sector have formed the Materials Embodied Carbon Leadership Alliance (MECLA), which will launch in 2021. Major suppliers and users of both traditional and low emissions building products, as well as government representatives from state and national levels will be involved. This unique collaboration will have several working groups. Contact us using the form below if you would like to join. Read more about the MECLA on the WWF website here.

2) Quicker accreditation for infrastructure

The materials calculator used in Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) ratings is being digitalised. This new platform will make it easier to estimate embodied carbon, helping to increase LEBM procurement. The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) developed the original calculator with industry. The NSW Government is funding them to upgrade the platform.

3) NSW Government is taking action

We are building momentum across government when it comes to low emissions material and construction. Many government agencies are using LEBMs — or have plans to — in new projects.

Other initiatives include:

  • The Chief Architect’s office is developing a new State Environmental Planning Policy which will provide guidelines on low emissions construction
  • Putting the spotlight on low emission materials and other sustainability issues in the New South Wales State Infrastructure Strategic plan
  • An education program with government staff on sustainable procurement.

Check out the first of our three-part government briefing on 27 May 2021 here.

4) Kickstarting new thinking

We will host innovation “sprints” with stakeholders along the building materials value chain throughout 2021 to develop solutions together in this complex and fast-changing area.

Get in touch

Contact us about any aspect of LEBMs.

Page last updated on 10 June 2021