Date & Location: 9.09.2021

[Webinar] EU-Brazil exchange: International experience on environmental performance assessment tools and policies for the construction sector

Presentation to the construction sector and public policymakers in Brazil concepts and examples of European best practices related to the topic of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

This event has passed. Speakers’ presentations are available here.

The aim of this webinar (Sept. 9, 15:00-17:30 CET) is to introduce to the Brazilian construction sector and policy makers concepts such as whole-life carbon and lifecycle assessment (LCA) and discuss the European best practices. The overview and the follow up debate with leading construction sector representatives and experts will touch upon examples of public policies and market initiatives related to the use of LCA and how LCA contributes to the achievement of Paris Agreement goals.  

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), is a methodology for assessing environmental impacts associated with all stages of the lifecycle of a commercial product, process, or service. It is being used to assess emissions in earlier lifecycle stages of the building process. A sub-set of the LCA is the Energy Life Cycle Assessment, which focuses on the energy balance of an assigned scope, and has an important role in the buildings’ pre-operational phases. 

The EU has deployed a series of regulations and actions that aim to tackle these emissions from early lifecycle stages – a.k.a. embedded emissions. Focus on these embedded emissions also raised the importance of lifecycle assessment as a methodology that is to be used for measuring the progress towards the EU’s climate and energy goals. The EU is keen to share its experiences with other jurisdictions that are to follow suit and are also aiming to tackle early lifecycle stages emissions. 

The Brazilian government is aware of the importance of tackling these early lifecycle stage emissions, and is currently developing its own set of policies and databases that would enable this effort. 

The German development agency, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and BPIE aim to facilitate the knowledge exchange between the European and the Brazilian policymakers, industry representatives and technical experts. This webinar is one of the parts of the effort undertaken to ensure that the EU shares its experience in building the relevant policy framework, as well as in building the LCA databases, standards, necessary certification systems and relevant business models. 


Welcome note + Housekeeping + Agenda
Oliver Rapf (BPIE)
Introduction – the construction sector in Brazil, associated energy and climate impacts, and sector’s environmental improvement needs
Carlos Pires (MME), Giovani Machado (EPE)
Expert presentations: Environmental performance role in the construction sector – strategy, policy and practice
– Whole lifecycle carbon assessment and European national Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) initiatives 
Zsolt Toth (BPIE)
– The importance of a whole-life carbon approach to decarbonizing the built environment
Roland Hunziker (WBCSD)
– What do EPDs and LCA mean for the construction sector, and how are they used? 
Vagner Maringolo
– The Dutch National Environmental Database (DNED): Structure, Governance, Business model, Application 
Tom de Boer and John Drissen (DNED)
– Development of environmental performance database in Brazil – progress, targets and challenges 
Vanderley John (CBCS)

The moderated roundtable discussion that will follow will have leading European experts discuss opportunities and challenges for the utilisation of environmental performance data in the construction sector,  lessons learned and associated policy frameworks.

Some of the discussion topics will include questions that deal with the following issues: 

  • What are the opportunities and challenges of using whole-life carbon analysis? 
  • What are tools and requirements needed to successfully deploy this type of analysis and have it effectively contribute to relevant policy making?  
  • What business models are out there, and, can they be utilised in different jurisdictions and what are the policy and economic enablers needed to support necessary LCA databases?

This will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

Closing remarks from Carlos Pires (MME)


Carlos Alexandre Principe Pires – Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME)

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Director of the Energy Development Department. Civil Engineer graduated from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), MBA from IBMEC/RJ, Specialist in Public Policy and Government Management. Graduated in 1995 cum Laude from UFRJ, he worked for five years at the National Electricity Conservation Programme – PROCEL, in Marketing with focus on the Residential and Commercial Sectors. He has worked for several important Brazilian institutions, such as: Furnas Centrais Elétricas, at the National Water Agency and at the Administrative Council for Economic Defense, at the Ministry of Justice. In June 2008, he joined the Ministry of Mines and Energy – MME.

Giovani Vitória Machado – Energy Research Officer (EPE)

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Giovani Machado is an economist who holds MSc and DSc degrees in Energy Planning. His expertise lies in oil and gas geopolitics and prices, gas infrastructure planning, energy modelling and forecast, biofuels supply and demand analysis, energy sustainable development, energy transition, as well as planning, policy and regulation of the energy sector. He has worked for several institutions in the energy area. In December 2006, he joined the Energy Research Office (EPE), holding various management positions within the Directory of Oil, Gas and Biofuels. Currently, he is the Director for Energy Economics and Environmental Studies at EPE. Also, he is the author of several publications on energy issues and reviewer for international energy journals.

Professor Vanderley M. John – Brazilian Sustainable Construction Council (CBCS)

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Professor of Building Materials of Polytechnic School, University of São Paulo. ResearchID: C-1434-2011 Member of the Board of the Brazilian Sustainable Construction Council (CBCS) Prof. John’s main research interests are industrial ecology applied to construction sector and low-carbon, cement-based materials. His focus is on applied research in collaboration with the industry and governmental institutions. He is the co-author of the UN Environment Report “Eco-Efficient Cements: Potential Economically Viable Solutions for A Low-CO2 Cement-Based Materials Industry” (2017) and more than 100 indexed papers.

Zsolt Toth – Senior project manager (BPIE)

Zsolt Toth is Senior Project Manager at BPIE. He leads a diverse portfolio of projects including whole life carbon, building logbooks, and sustainable finance. Before joining BPIE, he was Senior Adviser at the EMF-ECBC focusing on green mortgages and he has worked for 10 years as EU Affairs Manager at RICS Europe driving public affairs activity and delivering EU policy in the built environment. 

Tom de Boer, MSc – Netherlands National Environmental Database (NMD)

Tom de Boer has a technical-governance background and an interest in making ‘sustainability’ measurable. His work at the National Environmental Database (NMD) contributes to this goal. Trust of users in the environmental data is essential for the success of the database. Tom ensures proper implementation of procedures relating to data uploading, control and application.

Engr. John Drissen – Netherlands National Environmental Database (NMD)

The way we still build today has a huge impact on the climate. Resources of fossil and mineral materials are running out, resulting in a scarcity of building materials and a negative impact on nature, people, and the environment. John Drissen imagines a world where everything is designed to be recoverable, reusable and regenerative. John Drissen is an architect and engineer with 20 years of experience in designing and project management of housing, utility and airport facilities. A professional with a heart for sustainability and a passion for architecture and construction, since May 2021 he is part of the NMD as manager where he leads important projects in the field of building information modelling (BIM), bio-based materials and projects related to environmental performance in the design process.

Dr. Vagner Maringolo – Sustainable Construction Manager (CEMBUREAU)

Dr. Vagner Maringolo is a geologist from the Institute of Geosciences of Sao Paulo University, Brazil, and holds MSc and PhD degrees from the same institute. Vagner joined CEMBUREAU – The European Cement Association in Brussels in 2008 where he has held the position of Sustainable Construction Manager since 2017 representing the European cement industry with the European institutions and international bodies, and working together with CEMBUREAU members particularly on EU issues related to the sustainability and standardisation of construction works and construction products. Before joining CEMBUREAU, Vagner worked for the Brazilian Portland Cement Association (ABCP) for 14 years, mainly on environmental and regulatory aspects related to the co-processing of waste in cement kilns, which is also the topic of his PhD.

Roland Hunziker – World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Roland Hunziker is director of sustainable buildings and cities at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), based in Geneva, Switzerland. He leads the Transforming the Built Environment and Climate Action in Cities projects and manages the Council’s relationships with key city networks and stakeholders, notably through the City-Business Climate Alliance, a partnership with C40 and CDP. A Swiss national, Roland holds an MBA with distinction from INSEAD, France, and an MA in history and political science from the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

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