At this year’s Greenbuild conference, November 1-3 in San Francisco, the topic of carbon — and ways to eliminate it — will dominate the multidisciplinary discussions among attendees. One of the much-anticipated talks on carbon reduction brings together sustainability leaders from global organizations including construction firm Skanska, the integrated consulting engineers and advisers Buro Happold, and the real estate and facilities group at Microsoft, along with the nonprofit behind the embodied carbon database EC3.

The group will focus on how they are collaborating to innovate on minimizing embodied carbon — “cutting-edge carbon,” as they call it.

“Advancing a zero-carbon agenda in the building industry demands interdisciplinary collaboration on technology, transparency, and supply chains across stakeholders,” says Kathleen Hetrick, a sustainability engineer with Buro Happold known for expertise in supply chain and corporate responsibility. “To this end, our panel will explore how investment in regenerative built environment assets can act as one of the biggest opportunities for organizations to make significant progress on their goals for environmental and social governance, or ESG, and their science-based target commitments for reducing carbon emissions, in terms of dollar spend.”

Adds Hetrick, “Together, we must push beyond the individual project mindset towards collective market transformation to lock in carbon reduction and optimize co-benefits for human and planetary health.”

In the presentation, “Cutting Edge Carbon – Building Collaborations for Innovation and Urgent Action on the Climate,” Hetrick, who is an accredited professional for both LEED and EcoDistricts, will speak on the panel with:

  • Skanska’s sustainability manager Mark Chen
  • Microsoft’s global real estate and facilities sustainability leader Katie Ross, LEED AP O+M, WELL AP
  • Building Transparency’s executive director Stacy Smedley, LEED AP and Living Future Accredited.

With expert insights from these organizations leading the charge for sustainability in building and technology development, the session covers the need for open-source resources for the building community, as well as the broader health and social impacts of carbon reduction. Acknowledging the urgent need for major changes in carbon management in the coming years, the panel delves into the importance of incorporating new and cutting-edge ideas at every level from individual responsibility to industry-wide standards.

The session encapsulates the overall goals of this year’s Greenbuild conference to bring together international expertise on sustainability, resilience, health, and wellness, exposing the urgent demand throughout various building sectors for more sustainable, lower-carbon solutions.