Embodied Carbon

Last updated on April 8, 2022

Embodied carbon is the Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e) released during the manufacturing or construction process of an item and includes the production and transportation of the raw materials and sub assemblies, as well as the CO2e released due to warehousing and marketing. This is the carbon footprint before the item becomes operational.

The manufacturing of a small car releases 6 to 8.5 tonnes of CO2e, a medium size car releases 17 tonnes of CO2e, and a large car releases 35 tonnes of CO2e.

The manufacturing of a small electric car, including the battery, releases 14 tonnes of CO2e [1].

Embodied carbon is usually not included in the CO2e of imported items which is problematic because it encourages outsourcing manufacturing to countries with poor environmental standards.


[1] www.brusselsblog.co.uk/carbon-emissions-in-the-lifetimes-of-cars/