A Collective Impact Initiative

Carbon Smart Building is a collective impact initiative intended to support collaboration to convert the built environment from a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to a significant part of the solution to climate change.

Our vision depends on designing and constructing highly efficient new buildings, retrofitting existing buildings, reducing embodied carbon emissions from building construction, and using carbon as a significant material component in buildings. To do so requires a level of market transformation and system-wide collaboration beyond the capacity of any individual organization, business consortium, standards body, or policy maker. The solution requires a global collective impact initiative involving many partners, accelerating change in many different areas, from carbon analysis in buildings to supply chain evolution, and materials development to public policy, until building to store carbon becomes common practice worldwide. Carbon Smart Building is a broad-based collaboration of companies, NGOs, and governments across the global building industry. 


In its early stages, Carbon Smart Building is being incubated by the Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington, and by Carbon Innovations, a social impact business consultancy focused on business-based solutions to climate change.

Carbon Smart Building Day was a daylong workshop on September 11, affiliated with the Global Climate Action Summit, which took place in San Francisco, September 12-14. The Global Climate Action Summit brought leaders and people together from around the world to “Take Ambition to the Next Level.” It was a moment to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens with respect to climate action.

The Summit was also a launchpad for deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries—supported by all sectors of society—that can put the globe on track to prevent dangerous climate change and realize the historic Paris Agreement.

The decarbonization of the global economy is in sight. Transformational changes are happening across the world and across all sectors as a result of technological innovation, new and creative policies and political will at all levels.

States and regions, cities, businesses and investors are leading the charge on pushing down global emissions by 2020, setting the stage to reach net zero emissions by midcentury.