You are here

Learning Series: One Brick at a Time | Session 3: Addressing Embodied Carbon through Building Materials

India’s buildings-related CO2 emissions have more than doubled between 2000 and 2017, and indirect emissions have almost tripled. These indirect emissions are embodied carbon (EC) emissions, that are associated with the procurement, manufacturing, construction, and disposal of building materials over the life cycle of a building. These EC emissions have posed a huge challenge for Indian construction businesses but have also created opportunities for innovative and unconventional materials.

Although India’s building and construction sector accounts for 32% of the total national GHG emissions inventory covering both operational and embodied emissions, discussions have centered primarily around Operational Carbon (OC) and Energy Efficiency (EE).

Dialogues around ECs have not taken center stage as they are tricky to accurately quantify and monitor, when compared to operational carbon. Alternatives to carbon-intensive, virgin resource-dependent materials and new business models are currently evolving and are popularly referred to as ‘alternate materials’. These alternate materials are usually made from recycled materials and converted into a viable building material using a patented mix or technology, which are largely low-carbon, carbon-neutral, or carbon negative. So far, they been at a pilot scale.

Businesses across the built environment value chain are increasingly addressing embodied carbon. Moreover, alternate material manufacturers are providing compliance reports, carbon tags, technical tests, and certificates to support their products. However, key issues related to market uptake and deployment of these alternative materials in India’s construction market scenario remain.

To this end, the third session of our learning series “One Brick at a Time” aims to address some of these bigger questions by giving the platform to alternate material manufacturers and material experts. This session is open to all developers, real estate companies, corporates, and companies involved in the development, design, planning, and construction work of low-carbon alternate materials.

The objectives of this session are:

  • To learn from the successes and challenges of alternate material manufacturers that are signatories to the charter.
  • To advocate for the integration of newer and low-embodied carbon-intensive materials into the design and construction phase – highlighting their benefits and dispelling market misconceptions.
  • To facilitate material innovation, so that start-up manufacturing companies learn about the challenges and compliances required to succeed in the building and construction sector.

This Learning Series is part of WRI India, AEEE, Mahindra Lifespaces, and Eco Collab’s Business Charter 'Value-chain Approach to Decarbonize the Building and Construction Sector in India’.


  • Shriti Pandey, Founder, Strawcture Eco
  • Tarun Jami, Founder, GreenJams
  • Maaz Dixit, Co-Founder, Neev Energy and Sustainable Solutions
  • Arundhati Sett, Co-Founder, Eco Collab (Moderator)
  • Anamika Garg, Co-Founder, Eco Collab (Moderator)

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletters

Get the latest commentary, upcoming events, publications, and multimedia resources. Sign up for the monthly WRI India Digest.