Talking Heads Webinar – RICS WLCA and Biogenic Carbon


On Wednesday 22nd May 2024 we were joined life cycle analysis expert Dr Jane Anderson and ASBP’s Simon Corbey and Mark Lynn for a ‘talking heads’ webinar on the RICS whole life carbon assessment (WLCA) standard and biogenic carbon.

Jane was one of the main co-authors of the industry-leading RICS Professional Standard which is based on EN 15978 and aims to ensure consistency and accurate carbon measurement in the built environment.

Discussion covered questions such as:

  • How does the RICS WLCA standard consider the biogenic carbon which is stored in timber and bio-based materials in our buildings?
  • How can we report the benefits of biogenic carbon storage?
  • Whether Module D, which reports the potential loads and benefits from reusing or recycling materials and components at end of life, is fit for purpose?
    For example, does Module D reflect the benefits of moving to a circular economy. And if not, what could the alternative approaches be?

      • Biogenic carbon – Carbon removals associated with carbon sequestration
        into biomass, as well as any emissions associated with this sequestered carbon. Biogenic carbon must be reported separately if reporting only upfront carbon, but should be included in the total if reporting embodied carbon or whole life carbon.
      • Carbon sequestration – The process by which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and stored within a material, for example by being stored in biomass as biogenic carbon by plants.
      • Module D covers the potential carbon loads and benefits beyond the system boundary from reuse, recycling, energy recovery or landfilling of any material arising from the construction (A4–A5), use (B2–B5) or end-of-life (C1–C4) stages, and any utilities exported from the asset during in-use stages B6–B8, such as generated electricity or treated water.

We recommend attendees familiarise themselves with the WLCA standard before watching this webinar as the discussions will get into the detail of the document.


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