WBPF Session VI:
Embodied Carbon In Building Construction

april 20, 2022 | 1600 - 1830 PT | hOSTED VIA zOOM

Please join us for the Wood Best Practices Forum, Session VI, on embodied carbon in building construction. This session will include government officials and industry experts speaking on climate policy development, data and tools that support policies, and the role of wood in low-carbon construction.


Event Schedule

April 20, 2022 | 16:00-18:30 PT

Welcome remarks

Speaker: Zoish Bengali
Director, International Markets, Forestry Innovation Investment

About the Speaker:

Zoish is an international market development expert with a specific focus on Asia. She has spent more than 17 years advancing bilateral trade across the globe. Zoish is responsible for Forestry Innovation Investment’s Market Initiatives Program, expanding export markets for BC wood products in China, Japan, Korea, India and Vietnam. In addition to her experience in trade promotion for forest products, Zoish has also advanced international trade and investment in other sectors including retail, food and beverage, aerospace and technologyin a range of countries including the United States, the UK, Belgium, France, Australia, New Zealand and India. Zoish holds an MBA from Cardiff University in the UK, and a diploma in Chartered Marketing, UK. She has lived and worked in Canada, the United States, India and the UK.


Speaker: Antje Wahl (moderator)
Manager Research & Innovation, Forestry Innovation Investment

About the Speaker:

Antje’s oversees research projects funded through BC’s Wood First program and assists with setting research and funding priorities for the program. She works with an array of stakeholders, including other government agencies, NGOs and research organizations, to help advance through R&D and knowledge mobilization, BC’s wood construction technologies and expertise, including the environmental performance of wood. She has an MSc in Forestry from UBC and a Wood Science & Business Administration degree from the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Antje will introduce the forum and provide an overview of FII’s priorities and knowledge mobilization on embodied carbon.

Circular economy and embodied carbon for wood construction: federal actions and future perspectives

Speaker: Bruno Gagnon
Manager, Trade, Economics and Industry Branch, Natural Resources Canada

Bruno will provide an overview of federal policies in the fields of climate action, low-carbon buildings and circular economy as well as innovation programs for the forest sector. He will also discuss the implications of increased circularity in the built environment for the embodied carbon of wood products and wood buildings.

About the Speaker:

Bruno Gagnon is acting chief of the Circular Bioeconomy and Supply Chain Economics team at the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada. He also sits on the Canadian National Mirror Committee to ISO Technical Committee 207 / Subcommittee 5 on life cycle assessment and acts as National Task Leader for IEA Bioenergy Task 43 on Biomass Supply. Prior to joining the Government of Canada in 2015, Bruno worked as a consultant in sustainability and climate change services. Bruno holds a PhD in environmental engineering (University of Sherbrooke, Canada).

Low Carbon Assets through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)2 Initiative

Speaker: Rob Cooney
Project Manager, National Research Council Canada

Rob will provide an overview of the NRC’s development of life cycle inventory (LCI) datasets for Canadian construction materials and associated life cycle assessment (LCA) guidelines that enable the public sector – federal, provincial, territorial, municipal governments – and private sector portfolio holders to incorporate the quantification of life cycle carbon of built assets (real property, public infrastructure) into their procurement processes.

 About the Speaker:

Rob Cooney is a Project Manager at the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa where he supports the development and execution of complex multi-year projects. Rob’s 15-year career has seen him support and lead many transformational projects across multiple industry sectors; including IT, logistics, and hospital operations. Rob has a strong track record of bringing together stakeholders with disparate interests and goals and achieving alignment for successful project creation and delivery.


Towards a Low Carbon Built Environment

Speaker: Jeremy Caradonna
Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Mass Timber Implementation, BC Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation

Jeremy will present a brief scan on actions taken in BC to reduce the embodied carbon of the built environment. Key policy trends include the use of Consumption-Based Emissions Inventories (CBEI), integrating embodied carbon into policy decisions, green procurement and the circular economy. Jeremy will touch on climate action items in BC’s Mass Timber Action Plan launched by the province in early April 2022.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Jeremy L. Caradonna is a Senior Policy Analyst in the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery, and Innovation. He is an expert in sustainability and green buildingand is the author of three books and many articles. Jeremy holds a PhD in the history and teaches Environmental Studies and Human Dimensions of Climate Change at the University of Victoria.


Speaker: Bill Parsons
Vice President of Operations, WoodWorks (United States)

Bill will summarize a study conducted late last year on the current state of designers using Whole-Building LCA (WBLCA) Tools.  The goal of this study was to identify which WBLCA tools are used by the AEC community, learn more about those specific tools, and identify next steps for education and collaboration. This study has helped WoodWorks build a road map that can be used to advance fairer treatment of wood products in WBLCA tools that are currently on the market and to ensure users have the information needed to make educated choices between the software options, as well as within each of the software options.

About the Speaker:

Bill is WoodWorks’ Vice President of Operations and leads the Project Resources and Solutions Division, a team of wood engineering experts who provide training and project support. He is actively involved in the emergence of mass timber and continued advancement of light-frame construction in the U.S., as well as increased partnerships among manufacturers and other groups within the sector. In his role as VP, he is also instrumental in the development of systems and strategies that allow WoodWorks to support an increasing number of AEC professionals. Prior to WoodWorks, Bill spent 15 years leading the strategic rollout of new product lines, managing technical teams, and growing the long-term profitability of business units. A licensed engineer in the State of California, he has a master’s from Washington State University and an undergraduate degree from South Dakota State University.


Speaker: Lance Tao 
Communications Manager, Canada Wood Group

This presentation will introduce the landscape of Asian market carbon initiatives and Canada Wood’s systematic approach to addressing some of the most pressing issues related to embodied carbon in construction. Together, China, Japan and Korea emit one-third of all global carbon emissions. The world cannot solve the climate crisis without making buildings more energy-efficient and reducing carbon emissions during construction without including China, Japan, and Korea. Canada Wood believes carbon is a key enabler for Canadian wood products’ long-term competitive positioning in Asian building markets and a realistic path forward for Canada’s aspiration to be the global leader in carbon reduction.

About the Speaker:

Lance Tao is the communications manager at Canada Wood Group where he directs all aspects of both the external and internal elements of communication initiatives including brand management, social media, collateral development, mission program, inter-office coordination as well as CRM strategies and implementation. Prior to that, Lance held the position of Marketing and Communications Director at Canada Wood China for over 12 years.

Technical support for embodied carbon policy

Speaker: Jennifer O’Connor 
President, Athena Sustainable Materials Institute

Low carbon materials benefit from construction policy that sets embodied carbon performance targets. This presentation briefly identifies the technical support system for such policy and gives examples from Canada. Jennifer will also synthesize key takeaways from the previous speakers and tie it into a policy implementation plan on embodied carbon in construction.

About the Speaker:

Jennifer O’Connor is President of the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute. She has been working in construction-sector sustainability for her entire career, with diverse multidisciplinary roles in research, design and education in Canada and the U.S.  The Athena Institute is a non-profit research group in life cycle assessment, or LCA, which is the quantification of cradle-to-grave environmental performance.