Policy and Certifications

Procurement of Low Carbon Materials


To reduce the embodied carbon of materials used in construction.


As with many LEED credits, the environmental outcomes of a project team strategy are dependent on many factors. This credit is no different and is largely based on life-cycle environmental impact data. The goal of this pilot credit is to improve that data and the comparability of data from life cycle assessment (LCA) results. The University of Washington/Carbon Leadership Forum methodology, which is referenced in this credit, increases the directional correctness of procurement decisions intended to reduce embodied carbon. However, the absolute value of carbon emissions reductions should not, at this stage, be understood to be numerically precise. As datasets and evaluation tools improve, uncertainty should decrease and decisions based on this data should be improved. Your participation in this pilot credit is an important step in catalyzing and accelerating this improvement.

Please visit USGBC to read more about how to implement this pilot credit using the EC3 tool: https://www.usgbc.org/node/12704613

ILFI Zero Carbon Standard


The ILFI Zero Carbon Certification is the first worldwide Zero Carbon third-party certified standard. This program recognizes the growing interest and focus on a broad-based tool for highlighting highly energy efficient buildings which are designed and operated to fully account for their carbon emissions impacts.

The ILFI Zero Carbon Standard is as follows:

One hundred percent of the operational energy use associated with the project must be offset by new on- or off-site renewable energy. One hundred percent of the embodied carbon emissions impacts associated with the construction and materials of the project must be disclosed and offset.

During a one-year performance period, buildings must achieve a targeted energy efficiency level. New projects may not utilize on-site combustion. One hundred percent of the project’s energy use must be offset by on- or off-site renewable energy on a net annual basis. The project must provide offsetting renewables which have the equivalent of 15 years of project power, provide additionality, and have durable ownership integrity associated with the project.

The project must also account for the total embodied carbon impact from any new construction and materials through a one-time carbon offset from an approved source. New projects1 must also demonstrate a 10% reduction in the embodied carbon of the primary materials of the foundation, structure, and enclosure compared to an equivalent baseline.

Please visit USGBC to read more about how to implement this certification using the EC3 tool: https://living-future.org/zero-carbon-certification/#overview


International Living Future Institute Adds Embodied Carbon to Declare Labels in Shift to Acknowledging Full Product Impacts

Manufacturers now have the option of reporting product embodied carbon alongside ingredient disclosure on Declare labels.

Please visit the ILFI's press release to read more about how the EC3 tool is supporting this effort: https://trimtab.living-future.org/press-release/international-living-future-institute-adds-embodied-carbon-to-declare-labels-in-shift-to-acknowledging-full-product-impacts/

Buy Clean California Act

The EC3 tool currently is testing a Buy Clean California Compliance filter on applicable materials in the above legislation, via a partnership with the USGBC-LA: https://usgbc-la.org/programs/buy-clean-california/