When we think of green buildings, we typically think of operational efficiency. But what if the building process itself was greener? What if we used local building materials that didn’t have to be transported? And what if we sequestered carbon from the atmosphere and used it in the building materials themselves?
Andrew Himes is a partner at Carbon Innovations, currently working with the University of Washington’s Carbon Smart Building Initiative. The project seeks to transform the built environment from an existential threat to a net carbon sink that absorbs more than a billion tons of CO2 each year by converting captured carbon into useful building products and creating market demand for carbon capture.
Andrew has a background in activism and technology, serving as the founding editor for MacTech and co-founding the Microsoft Developer Network before becoming a nonprofit startup specialist. Today he joins Ross and Christophe to share the vision of the Embodied Carbon Network, explaining the concept of embodied carbon emissions and the necessity of accelerating their reduction. We discuss the challenges around motivating people to adopt carbon removal practices and validating that carbon was, indeed, removed efficiently and permanently. Listen in to understand how the blockchain could facilitate the reduction of embodied carbon and learn how the Carbon Smart Building Initiative is leading the global effort to rethink how we interact with each other and the Earth.
[2:21] How Andrew’s background led to his work with Carbon Innovations
[8:36] The Carbon Smart Building Initiative
[11:15] Andrew’s vision for transforming the built environment
[16:32] The definition of embodied carbon
[19:28] Andrew’s take on what motivates people
[26:10] Andrew’s insight around the challenges of creating a carbon removal marketplace
[30:01] The monetization of carbon removal
[33:46] The challenges of the Embodied Carbon Network
[36:07] How the blockchain might help facilitate the reduction of embodied carbon
[42:53] Andrew’s aspiration for a hopeful future