The CIOB Carbon Action 2050 toolkit is an action plan of simple, practical steps that can be taken by the Institute, its members and the wider construction industry to reduce carbon emissions from the built environment. Now. Anywhere in the world.


Carbon Action 2050 is the CIOB’s initiative to provide guidance to the built environment sector on how to cut carbon emissions by applying innovation and best practice to project design, construction, maintenance, operation, retrofit, and waste management. We also recognise the skills that are needed to achieve this and the vital requirement to measure, manage and change environmental practices through effective leadership.


So why are we doing this?

We know that our members and the wider industry will respond to the challenges that lie ahead, and that the practical information contained within this site will help them do so. Carbon Action 2050, just like the low carbon agenda, will not remain static; it is an evolving and constantly-reviewed resource that provides guidance to achieving regulatory targets and beyond.

Being carbon and resource efficient is increasingly seen as a way of not merely complying with legislation, but also with winning new business, improving efficiency, cutting costs, and breeding innovation. The case studies on this site demonstrate just that.


So how big is a tonne of carbon?

As an invisible gas, visualising carbon dioxide can be an abstract notion. Our members have often asked what a tonne of carbon dioxide actually is order to demonstrate the impact. The graphic below from Carbon Visuals displays a tonne of CO2 in comparison to a typical semi-detached house - the CO2 here fills a cube 8.13 metres high with a volume of 537 cubic metres.

Using Environment Agency calculations and conversion factors, we can determine that a tonne of CO2 is equivalent to 4.17 tonnes of bricks - approximately 1,530 bricks. 5 cubic metres of ready-mix concrete is also comparable to a tonne of carbon, as is 1.1 tonnes of primary glass.