LOGO CE_Vertical

Support study for the development of the roadmap for the reduction of whole life carbon of buildings

Study background

In 2020, the 2030 Climate Target Plan presented an EU-wide, economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990.

The Renovation Wave Communication (2020) pointed out that it is essential to make buildings more energy-efficient, less carbon-intensive and more sustainable in order to achieve this target as they account for around 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU.

This requires a significant reduction of the carbon emissions throughout the whole life cycle of buildings, encompassing both operational and embodied carbon.

There is, however, limited data on and awareness of the importance of embodied carbon. While several EU Member States have gathered data and set out national roadmaps and strategies, an EU-wide roadmap for reducing whole life cycle carbon emissions in buildings has not been developed yet.

To address this, the European Commission has initiated a study aimed at supporting the development of an EU-wide whole life carbon roadmap, outlining how all building-related emissions can be mitigated by 2050.

The study is conducted by Ramboll Management Consulting, together with Buildings Performance Institute Europe and KU Leuven and it will run until the end of 2023.

Study objective

The study will:

  • Establish a baseline for embodied carbon emissions of buildings across European regions
  • Set out how embodied carbon of European buildings can be expected to evolve by 2050
  • Set out the trajectory towards climate objectives for operational carbon in various scenarios
  • Identify and assess the impact of whole life carbon emissions reduction solutions.

It will rely on the collaboration with key stakeholders within the building and construction sector.

This will ensure that the study output benefits from the wealth of expertise and knowledge available across the EU.


Technical study report

Read about our findings in the technical study report that has been released in support of the EU Commissions public consultation.

Next steps

Expert working group

We are happy to announce the members of the expert working group that will support us and the EU Commission in the road mapping process.

Let us know

Contribute to the study

Send us suggestions of literature sources and reports that you think we should review as part of our desk research here:

Kick-off webinar

Learn more about the study

If you missed the kick-off webinar, you can watch it here.

You can also download the webinar presentation here.

Let's get in touch

For specific questions regarding the study and the stakeholder consultation activities, please contact: WholeLifeCarbonRoadmap@ramboll.com

Get in touch directly with the team:

About the partners

Ramboll Management Consulting

Ramboll is a global consultancy delivering sustainable change across 35 countries.

With a civil-engineering legacy, Ramboll also comprises management consulting, architecture, and environmental services to deliver a holistic take on the green transition – in the buildings sector and in similar industries.

> Learn more about Ramboll


BPIE (Buildings Performance Institute Europe) is a leading independent think tank on energy performance and climate adaptation of buildings.

Our vision is a climate-neutral built environment, aligned with the ambition of the Paris Agreement, and in support of a fair and sustainable society. We provide actionable, data-driven policy analysis, advice, and implementation support to decision-makers in Europe and globally.

> Learn more about BPIE

KU Leuven

KU Leuven’s research group Architectural Engineering tackles innovation in the design of buildings by approaching architecture from an engineering point of view.

The emphasis is placed on the technological aspects of architecture. Structure, materials, services, and comfort requirements are considered in a multidisciplinary setting to quantify, assess, and improve the quality, cost and environmental impact of buildings and the built environment.

> Learn more about KU Leuven