13 March 2024, Sydney – MECLA (the Materials and Embodied Carbon Leaders Alliance) has had an extraordinary 2023. We have grown to 160+ partner organisations and received funding from 80 industry organisations and two state governments. MECLA activities in working groups and subgroup meetings added in-kind contributions from industry, government and academia in the form of over 3,500 hours, not counting additional time invested in preparations for working groups, submissions, presentations, publications and spotlight events.

2023 was the year that MECLA spread its engagement and community wider and deeper than before. MECLA contributed industry feedback to the development of over 13 relevant policies at state and national level, as well as providing significant capacity and capability building for the Australian building industry through its activities. Some of our most successful examples were our 14+ spotlight events and deep dives across five states attracting over 2,500 live attendees, for which we were able to issue 726 CPD points. We also continue to expand our free website resources to further enhance knowledge sharing across the industry. Our growing recognition as a leading body on embodied carbon is also reflected in our growing online presence, with over 3,000 LinkedIn followers and newsletter subscribers, and a steadily growing number of visitors and page views.

MECLA now has 160+ Founding Partners and Members from government, industry and academia, plus around 150 additional organisations participating in its ten working groups, >15 subgroups, plus secretariat, PCG and PLG. There are currently 80 financial supporters of MECLA, including two state governments: New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA).

Our work in 2023 was clustered around the following themes:

Standards, Policy and Regulation: Continue to engage across agencies across jurisdictions to promote business cases, policies and practices that support early industry engagement and build confidence in standardising low carbon materials in tendering and contracting. Examples include development of the Industry Readiness Index.

Procurement: Early engagement for collaborative contracting through case studies as well as development of a MECLA Guideline for procurement across each stage of the tendering and contracting process. Support Tier 2/3 contractors to upskill to facilitate their ability to respond to government expectations, in collaboration with organisations such as Engineers Australia.

Manufacturing: While we have seen some early progress the aluminum and concrete sectors, there is much more to do to support manufacturers to retool through development of more detailed definitions and guidelines for low carbon materials and seeking early offtake agreements and support for their innovation investment efforts across the major materials sectors.

Skills, Training and Behaviour Change: Ongoing events including Spotlight events, deep dive industry field trips and MECLA’s new offering to support the industry with their problem-solving skills.

Improved Data: Measurement and access to accurate data is key to effectively engage at the early design stages during the development and use of embodied carbon materials. Several programs have kickstarted including one with NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) because of the MECLA initiative. We will continue engaging and collaborating through these programs into 2024 and beyond.

Ongoing focus on outputs from our working groups: MECLA has 10 working groups across the Demand Side, Measurement, Guidance, Residential and the Materials working groups including steel, concrete, aluminium, other materials e.g. glass, bricks & masonry, asphalt, piping, circular and recycled materials.

MECLA is proud to share its 2023 Annual Report. Learn about our various Working Group activities and how we’ve impacted the embodied carbon conversation in Australia.

Download the report