Under Construction Hidden Emissions and Untapped Potential of Buildings for New Zealand’s 2050 Zero Carbon Goal

thinkstep-anz’s report identifies opportunities to decarbonize New Zealand’s building and construction sector by 40% with a focus on embodied emissions from now until 2050.

The strategies set out in this report could save approximately 1,200 kt CO2e per year: equivalent to taking 460,000 passenger cars off the road permanently and 15% of New Zealand’s total light vehicle fleet.

The key materials contributing to embodied GHG emissions in New Zealand were found to be steel and concrete, which together contribute more than 50% of the carbon footprint of both residential and non-residential construction (excluding fit-out and building services). Aluminium was also very significant for non-residential construction. For residential construction, timber framing was the next biggest contributor, followed by paint, aluminum and plasterboard.

A collaborative effort will enable us to achieve or exceed the 40% decarbonization potential identified in this report. Decarbonizing the built environment will require:

  • Collaboration among all players in the building sector;
  • Communication of good information and data;
  • Innovation in the manufacturing sector; and
  • Policy development encouraging the use of materials with low embodied carbon.

Register to download the report.