Browsing by Subject "sustainability"

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  • Isoaho, Karoliina Laila Hannele; Moilanen, Fanni Sofia; Toikka, Arho Ilmari (2019)
    The Energy Union, a major energy sector reform project launched by the European Commission in 2015, has substantial clean energy and climate aims. However, scholarly caution has been raised about their feasibility, especially with regards to accommodating climate objectives with other closely related yet often competing policy goals. We therefore investigate the policy priorities of the Energy Union by performing a topic modelling analysis of over 5,000 policy documents. A big data analysis confirms that decarbonisation and energy efficiency dimensions are major building blocks in the Energy Union's agenda. Furthermore, there are signals of policy convergence in terms of climate security and climate affordability policies. However, our analysis also suggests that the Commission is not actively prescribing trajectories for renewable energy development or paying close attention to declining incumbent energy generation technologies. Overall, we find that the Energy Union is not a 'floating signifier' but rather has a clear and incrementally evolving decarbonisation agenda. Whether it further develops into an active driver of decarbonisation will largely be determined by the implementation phase of the project.
  • Partanen, Tommi (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Environmental issues have become an important part of today’s business. Some companies have made the decision to strive towards environmental friendliness of operation; others have decided to take a more reactive approach. Even though environmental issues have gotten much attention lately, the portion of green products out of total production is still very small. The purpose of this study is to find out using a single company case study if environmentalism adds value in the print business. From managerial perspective, the aim of the study is also to find out if the possible added value of environmentalism could be further enhanced. The main questions are: What are customers’ main selection criteria for making purchasing decisions? In what respect are customers’ purchasing decisions based on environmental values? Do customers feel that there is added value in environmentally friendly processes and materials? Data for the study is collected from thematic customer interviews, a newsletter survey and a literature review of previous research. Companies in the study include multinational, national and local ones. The study will use a mixed method approach with qualitative data from the interviews and quantitative data from the survey. By gathering data from two different sources with mainly qualitative and theory driven method of analysis, the reliability of the results is greater. Based on the results, environmental and sustainability issues are important issues for some customer companies in printing business, but not everyone wants to pay extra for environmental friendliness. Interestingly, there is clear evidence that also smaller companies are acknowledging the importance of environmental friendliness, so it is not only for large export-orineted companies. Some companies can be identified as proactively pursuing competitive advantages from sustainability and environmental friendliness. The results of the study are used to further develop the case company’s environmental marketing, for example by developing environmental management.
  • Fougère, Martin; Solitander, Nikodemus (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2009)
  • Mazac, Rachel; Renwick, Kerry; Seed, Barbara; Black, Jennifer L. (2021)
    International organizations, governments, researchers, and activists have proposed the need for deeper integration of sustainability considerations in national food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs). Yet, as recent scholarship advances the conversation, questions remain around how to effectively frame and address the interconnectedness of multiple sustainability domains. Little systematic analysis has evaluated how current FBDGs have integrated complex messages about socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable consumption practices with nutrition and health messages. This study had two nested objectives: (i) to examine the validity of an existing sustainable diets framework by assessing how sustainability concepts have been framed and included in national FBDGs available from 2011 to 2019 and (ii) to describe a novel analysis approach that augments an existing framework which integrates sustainability domains and can be adapted for use by future FBDGs. A qualitative content analysis was used to examine sustainability concepts found in 12 FBDGs and supporting documents available in English that were developed for use in 16 countries across Europe, North and South America, and Asia as of 2019-from a global review of those published prior to 2016 and gray literature review of publications between 2016 and 2019. Health domains were the primary frame found across the FBDGs examined, but documents also commonly incorporated agricultural, sociocultural, and economic sustainability principles. Analyzed documents were used to adapt an existing policy analysis framework into a "Sustainability in FBDGs Framework." This proposed framework contributes a novel analysis approach and has five core domains that are interconnected: health and nutrition, food security and agriculture, markets and value chains, sociocultural and political, and environment and ecosystems. This study adds to the growing body of literature related to sustainable food systems and dietary guidelines by presenting how sustainability framing in FBDGs can be used to further develop a comprehensive framework for integrating sustainability domains. While this project helps to validate previous work, further analyses of FBDGs which have emerged since this study and those not available in English are needed to improve the guidance approach described here and for assessing the incorporation of sustainability domains in future FBDGs. This work is useful in informing processes for policy developers to integrate sustainability considerations into their national FBDGs.
  • Tima, Tanjina Akter; Schneider, Petra; Chanda, Swapan Kumar; Mozumder, Mohammad Mojibul Hoque; Hossain, Mohammad Mosarof; Begum, Amany; Shamsuzzaman, Md. Mostafa (2021)
    Tanguar Haor (TH) is considered one of the Ecologically Critical Areas (ECAs) of Bangladesh and is internationally recognized as RAMSAR wetland (2nd Ramsar site) known to provide multiple ecosystem services to the society. Nevertheless, multidimensional threats and stressors, the capacity to supply ESs, and the biodiversity of the TH significantly degrades and threatens this wetland's conservation and sustainability. Although the legal framework promises the sustainable conservation of fisheries resources, information on the implementation scenarios of fisheries laws, regulations, and policies in the TH Ramsar are scant. By merging qualitative and quantitative data of primary and secondary sources, this research aimed to analyze the legal framework to check the effectiveness of regulations for non-conflicting fisheries resources and the sustainable conservation of the TH Ramsar. Primary empirical data were collected by employing Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools, i.e., 204 semi-structured questionnaire-based individual interviews with fishers, three focus group discussions, and 14 key informants' interviews in three fishing villages in the TH. In contrast, secondary data was set by reviewing published literature and related official documents. Results showed that, due to weak enforcement with inadequate surveillance and poor implementation of the legal framework, there was a high non-compliance with fishing laws, rules, and policies. Destructive and prohibited fishing gears, e.g., the use of small mesh fine nylon nets (current jal), purse seine net (ber jal), and the harvesting during ban period-illicit catch were widespread in the study areas. In addition, catching undersized fish, fishing at the restricted areas (sanctuary area), and fishing during spawning seasons occur often. There is a crying need for a comprehensive legal and policy framework to contextualize the local context, ensure the proper implementation of the fishing laws and regulations, increase the managerial inefficiency of enforcing agencies, ensure livelihood support during the fishing ban, and afford good alternative income options are still significant issues for good governance in the Tanguar Haor ECA. Findings might help to identify the gaps and misunderstanding of the existing legal practice while submitting urgent attention to the need for drawing a comprehensive legal and policy framework (contextually modified according to the local context), taking initiatives and acting synchronously for proper implementation, and calling transdisciplinary collaboration and cooperation among the agencies that may ensure the non-conflicting use of the natural resources of the TH that can be also helpful for the better conservation of this Ramsar wetland.
  • Miah, Mohammad Yusuf; Hossain, Mohammad Mosarof; Schneider, Petra; Mozumder, Mohammad Mojibul Hoque; Mitu, Sabrina Jannat; Shamsuzzaman, Md Mostafa (2021)
    The Meghna river estuary has had substantial importance in supporting the coastal community's livelihood for decades, but the pressure on it is immense due to many anthropogenic drivers. The present study aimed to assess its ecosystem services (ES) according to the framework of the standard international classification of ecosystem services (CICES). This study also identified the drivers, pressure, state, impact, and responses (DPSIR), and the factors responsible for ES changes in the Meghna river estuarine ecosystems. By merging both quantitative and qualitative data, a total of 19 sub-categories of ES were found, among which eight are provisioning, seven are regulatory, and four are cultural services, according to the CICES framework. From the results, it can be concluded that food provisioning from the Hilsha fishery, the national fish as a part of cultural heritage, and nursery habitat functions were the top provisional, regulatory, and cultural services to the society in the study areas and beyond. However, several threats and stressors of both anthropogenic and natural origins were identified as drivers of ES changes, such as overexploitation, destructive and illegal fishing, heavy river bed siltation, and natural hazards such as extreme cyclonic events, floods, and sea levels rising. This study underlines the urgency of research and policy attention to address the challenges, and of transforming management regimes to an ecosystem-based approach, which is part of nature-based solutions according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which refers to the present case, and particularly to fishery co-management. Creating alternative income sources and raising community awareness regarding the importance of maintaining the healthy condition of the river basins, and comprehensive compliance with the rules and regulations are proposed in order to ensure these estuarine ecosystems' sustainability.
  • Ruippo, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Innovation in food packaging interlinks many sustainability challenges ranging from food loss and waste through the value chains, to resource extraction and growing amounts of plastic waste globally. Food packaging innovations arising from regulation often focus on material waste and ignore other facets of sustainability such as food loss and waste. Simultaneously, conventional notions of innovations are focused on firm growth and competitiveness. This study investigates the perceptions of sustainability in food packaging among expert actors in Finland. Moreover, it examines how notions of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) are reflected in the research and development processes in the field. Here, RRI is understood as a framework for examining the role of socio-ethical considerations in research and development. The study aimed to find out which packaging attributes are considered sustainable, what motivations actors in the field have, what type of obstacles exist to innovation in the field, and which actor groups are perceived to be responsible for accelerating the food packaging transition towards sustainability. Semi-structured expert interviews were conducted with 14 participants, and the interview data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis (QCA). The results show that perceptions of sustainability in food packaging vary across the field. However, reducing food waste and loss was considered the most important facet of sustainability in food packaging. Actors in the field are motivated by personal reasons and the anticipated profitability of sustainable innovations. However, innovations in the field are slowed down because of regulatory issues, food safety requirements, unpredictable future changes, and technological lock-ins. Finally, the results of this study indicate that actors in the sector believe the Finnish government and brand owners in the food and beverage industries should be responsible for driving innovation towards improved sustainability. However, the qualitative approach taken here limits the generalizability of the results. The results suggest an ongoing narrative shift in innovation towards greater inclusion of social and ethical considerations in the research and development process.
  • Heikkurinen, Pasi Petteri; Young, Charles William; Morgan, Elizabeth (2019)
  • Sarasma, Juho Johannes (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Ihmisten arkinen liikkuminen paikasta toiseen on tärkeä palanen laajemmassa kestävyysmurroksessa. Liikenne muodostaa Suomessa 20 % kansallisista kasvihuonekaasupäästöistä ja vaikka päästöt ovat tasaisesti vähentyneet, nykyinen tahti ei ole riittävä tämänhetkisten päästövähennystavoitteiden saavuttamiseksi. Kotitalouksien kulutuksen aiheuttamista kasvihuonekaasupäästöistä liikkuminen on suurin yksittäinen päästöjen aiheuttaja. Aikaisempi tutkimus on keskittynyt suurelta osin teknologisiin ratkaisuihin ja yksilöiden valintoihin syinä ja ratkaisuina kestävään liikkumiseen. Näitä lähestymistapoja on kritisoitu siitä, että ne eivät anna riittävää painoarvoa sosiaalisille tekijöille. Käytäntöteorioita on esitetty vaihtoehtona ja vallitsevien yksilökeskeisten lähestymistapojen haastajana arkisen liikkumisen ymmärtämiseen. Käytännöt ovat rutiininomaisia ihmisten käyttäytymismalleja, jotka koostuvat useista elementeistä: materiaaleista, merkityksistä ja kompetensseista. Tämä tutkielma analysoi ihmisten liikkumista ennen COVID-19-pandemiaa ja sen aikana käytäntöteoreettisesta näkökulmasta. Tavoite on selvittää mitä käytäntöteorioiden avulla voidaan oppia kestävästä liikkumisesta, sekä miten pandemia on vaikuttanut ihmisten liikkumiseen Suomessa. Tutkielmaa varten tehtiin yhdeksän puolistrukturoitua haastattelua, joissa osallistujilta kysyttiin heidän liikkumisestaan ennen pandemiaa ja sen aikana. Tulokset muodostavat kokonaisvaltaisen kuvan osallistujien elämästä liikkumisen näkökulmasta. Tulokset analysoitiin käyttäen kvalitatiivista teorialähtöistä sisällönanalyysia. Tuloksista selvisi, että ihmisten liikkuminen muodostaa monimutkaisen systeemin, johon pandemia vaikutti merkittävästi. Tutkimuksessa tunnistettiin lukuisia elementtejä, jotka joko mahdollistivat tai hankaloittivat eri liikkumismuotojen käyttöä. Käytäntöteorioita on usein käytetty tarkastelemaan yhtä liikkumismuotoa kerrallaan, ja tämän tutkielman laajempaa näkökulmaa voidaan pitää yhtenä sen tärkeimmistä ansioista liikkumisen tutkimukseen. Vaikka tutkielma ei tarjoa valmiita vastauksia siihen, miten ihmisten liikkumisesta saataisiin kestävämpää, se tarjoaa tärkeää uutta tietoa käytäntöteoreettiseen liikkumisen tutkimukseen, joka on Suomessa ollut todella vähäistä.
  • Anttonen, Markku; Lammi, Minna; Mykkänen, Juri; Repo, Petteri (2018)
    The Triple Helix concept of innovation systems holds that consensus space among industry, government and university is required to bring together their competences to achieve enhanced economic and social development on a systemic scale. In line with this argument, this article analyses empirically how the concept of circular economy is conceived in the institutional spheres of "industry", "government" and "university". Innovation systems are constantly being reconstructed through knowledge production and communication, which is reflected in how concepts develop in the different spheres. By applying natural language processing tools to key contributions from each of the three spheres (the "Triple Helix"), it is shown that, although institutional backgrounds do contribute to differing conceptualizations of circular economy, there is a substantial but limited conceptual consensus space, which, according to the Triple Helix, should open new opportunities for innovations. The consensus space shared across the three spheres focuses on materials and products and sees circular economy as a way to create new resources, businesses and products from waste. The industry sphere highlights business opportunities on global scale, which are also evident in the government sphere. The government sphere connects circular economy to waste-related innovation policies targeted at industrial renewal, economic growth, investments and jobs. The university sphere, in turn, focuses on production and environmental issues, waste and knowledge, and is rather distinct from the two other spheres. The importance of the differing conceptions of circular economy is based on the logic of Triple Helix systems. Accordingly, sufficient consensus between the Triple Helix spheres can advance the application of the concept of circular economy beyond the individual spheres to achieve systemic changes.
  • Vihakara, Monika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Abstract Strategic development in the forest sector has been slow and not until the 21st century stake-holder focus came as a part of the strategic development. New innovations are now having important role while renewing forest sector into bioeconomy. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)has traditionally been as a target for development in forest sector because of the high usage of natural resources, but from the 1990s it has gained more attention inspired by the global megatrends and now CSR can be seen as the base of the consept of bioeconomy. The study explored the citizen’s perception towards forest sector innovation efforts from the year 2000 and within the next 20 years. The results were drawn from an analysis of two data sets. Data one consisted of multivariate survey data based on 218 valid responses where current state of forest industry innovative-ness was disclosed by using 13 bioeconomy products and services. Data two consisted of qualitative managerial interviews where forest industry professionals’ opinions of forest in-dustry contributions to sustainable innovations through the lens of three-dimensional innova-tion model/pyramid. Additionally, the aim was to get some reflections from survey results. Concluding the results of this study, the public opinion of forest sector innovations seemed to focus on constructions related innovation efforts and biofuels. In addition, results showed that perceptions of material substitution with wood and reducing environmental impacts of industry were improved since year 2000. The image of future innovation targets of forest sector was quite wide and most heavily it was pointed towards wood building systems, con-struction materials, brand development and material substitution with wood. Statistically sig-nificant differences found between the “past” and “future” innovativeness inquire strengthen-ing of both industry R & D and functioning of innovation systems.
  • Mustakallio, Vili (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines the climate responsibility, a sub-category of corporate social responsibility (CSR), of two oil companies, ExxonMobil and Shell. The study is a comparative case study of the climate responsibilities of two private oil companies, that makes use of academic literature and recent primary sources of the case companies, such as sustainability reports and statements. The study has a theoretical emphasis, and at first, it discusses the theoretical debates involving CSR. The separation of ownership and control in corporations that occurred in the early 20th century enriched the later discussion about the contradictions between capitalism and CSR, which was emerging slowly. From the 1970s, the practice of CSR became more familiar, and for instance, the orthodox liberal viewpoint became more positive about it: It was possible to combine profit-maximizing and CSR. Later, in the 21st century, governance studies gave a new perspective on interdisciplinary CSR studies. The study shows that climate responsibility might differ extensively between two same-sized oil companies. ExxonMobil’s climate responsibility has changed in the past twenty years: First, the company doubted whether climate change was true. Later, it admitted that it is a fact, and the company has committed to the Paris Climate Agreement. However, it commits to greenwashing regarding finding solutions. The company emphasizes its expertise and authority and is against government climate regulation. For ExxonMobil, the responsibility remains on the level of talk. It is not attempting to withdraw from oil. Shell’s climate responsibility, however, materializes in practice, too, even though the company has committed to greenwashing in the past. Shell has invested substantially in renewable energy sources and states that it aims to transform its business model to correspond with ambitious climate objectives. Further, contrary to ExxonMobil, Shell relies on a climate scenario, which follows an estimate that global warming from the pre-industrial era will not exceed 2°C. The study underlines that instrumental factors can explain the forms of corporate climate responsibility. However, the study does not exclude institutional, relational, nor philanthropic reasons for climate responsibility. This study discusses broad instrumentalism, which includes profit-maximizing and pursuit of corporate power. Profit-maximizing explains the form of climate responsibility that both companies practice. ExxonMobil’s climate responsibility speech is explained by maintaining a reputation and advertising matters, that is, short-term profits. However, its climate responsibility in practice remains modest, even irresponsible: The company is not withdrawing from oil nor investing in renewable energy sources. That is because, whereas the new oil resources are becoming harder and harder to exploit, ExxonMobil has relatively large oil resources compared with other oil companies. In turn, Shell’s climate responsibility is explained, especially by the long-term profits. Shell has relatively low oil reserves. Thus, it prepares for future regulation and positions as a progressive actor regarding energy transition to maximize profits in the 22nd century. Also, the case companies differ in the way they pursue corporate power. In the case of ExxonMobil, its climate responsibility speech is an attempt to pursuit corporate power against government regulation and to obtain autonomy. On the other hand, in climate issues, Shell highlights cooperation with the government and other stakeholders instead of self-regulation through its CSR. In the end, the thesis discusses the implications of the results to a broader question of global climate governance. When sustainability has become a growing business, and there are challenges in global climate governance, it is important to recognize the limits of climate responsibility, and more broadly, the limits of corporate social responsibility as a long-term solution. However, in the short term, the climate efforts of corporations are necessary to fill the regulatory gaps of global climate governance.
  • Toppinen, Anne; Miilumäki, Noora; Vihemäki, Heini; Toivonen, Ritva; Lähtinen, Katja (2019)
    Increasing societal interest towards sustainable and low-carbon materials contributes to demand for wood-based materials and modern solutions for urban construction. Wooden multi-storey construction (WMC), however, is a relatively new phenomenon in the construction business, and collaborative business models in projects that adopt such novel building techniques are yet to develop. Shared logic is a key concept shaping the development of well-functioning business ecosystems, even though actor priorities may vary between the WMC business ecosystem members. This study examines the applicability of business ecosystem concept based on actor perception involved in three Finnish WMC projects. The results suggest that elements from the business ecosystem thinking can be identified in all the cases. Moreover, network collaboration created benefits to the ecosystem, such as reference value and new insights from research and development. For some companies, engagement in the business ecosystem created financial and employment benefits, while some interviewees perceived these projects also to create immaterial value, such as awareness on sustainability issues in their business, marketing gains, or in the form of mutual learning effects.
  • Suokari-Pärssinen, Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The aim of the study was to investigate cornerstones of a communications strategy for a start-up specializing to wood-based packaging materials. These include packaging materials, which are produced in a sustainable way and decrease environmental load with their biodegradability. These cornerstones are basis for a globally profitable and competitive business. Literature review and qualitative interviews were used as a method. The circular economy business model enables a new way to operate and generate competitive advantage for a start-up. The plastics industry claims biodegradability of some forms; the communication challenge of the competitors is to prove these arguments false. Launching world-wide renewable wood-based packaging material to consumers and to packaging industry requires co-operation between all stakeholders. To be a true alternative to plastics, the product must be based on sustainability principles, recyclability and compostability. To avoid greenwashing, all communication must be based on reliable and verifiable information. The developed communications strategy addresses all the aforementioned challenges. The communications strategy focuses on younger generation consumers and rely on their ability to utilize social media in their communications. A circular economy start-up company must outperform plastics packaging manufacturers economically, environmentally and socially with sustainable packaging solutions. Nevertheless, based on this thesis, sustainability is a valid selling and communications argument. The interviews conducted by this thesis support this finding.
  • Nippala, Jaakko (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Corporate social responsibility and sustainability have become increasingly important in modern business practices. The purpose of this study was to examine the corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability practices and perceptions of small and medium-sized forest products companies in North Carolina (NC). These companies have less than 500 employees and most of the forest products companies operating in NC fall into this category. Research was carried out in two parts: first by conducting a content analysis of 22 websites of NC companies and second by conducting twelve semi-structured in-depth interviews with different company representatives to gain a deeper understanding of the practices and perceptions. The most frequently mentioned aspect in the websites was sustainability (48.6%), followed by CSR (19.8%). Most often mentioned CSR practices from the websites were safety and promotion of responsible forestry. Interviews identified social aspects of CSR as the most important for respondents. This is interesting since, according to earlier research, the forest industry tends to emphasize environmental aspects. The main drivers for CSR and sustainability were the owners and, to some extent, customers. Other stakeholders were not identified as important drivers. Interviews revealed that the company size is not really a defining aspect on implementation of CSR and sustainability, but it is instead a company specific initiative. Identifying and describing these effective patterns and practices of CSR and sustainability could help other small businesses create competitive advantages in forest products marketing. These practices can then be used as building blocks for sustainable and responsible business strategy.
  • Sehm-Patomäki, Katarina (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2013)
    COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences 14
    The present course of assessing debt sustainability – toward further econometric sophistication – risks being more harmful than helpful. To develop support for this claim, this paper first recounts what economic theory says about sovereign debt, and then continues by analysing the methodology and approach that the assessment of debt sustainability rests on today. Building on these accounts, this paper argues that debt sustainability should be lifted away from the narrow econometric seat where it is now found and, instead, should be placed in between problem debt on the one side and economic and social human rights on the other. The paper concludes by proposing an orderly framework promoting equal rights of debtor and creditor nations in debt negotiations. Importantly, it is up to the indebted nation to decide on the sustainability of its sovereign debt, not the creditors.
  • Bergholm, Jenna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Food chains have lengthened on account of globalization during the last decades which has led to multiple sustainability concerns related to transport emissions, food security, externalization of environmental costs, consumers’ alienation from agriculture and the origin of food and the economic situation of farmers. Organic and local food, farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture are seen as some ways to enhance the sustainability of the food system. Globally, there is in abundance research about farmers’ markets and their customers. However, there is still relatively little research from Finland about farmers’ markets. In this master’s thesis, the socio-economic and demographic markers of rural event visitors were analyzed to determine their relation to purchasing and event visiting habits. The empirical data were collected through use of a survey administered at a recurrent market event. The results showed that 75.4% of the respondents were female, and that the average age among respondents was 51.8 years. In addition, 63% were living in Hyvinkää, where the event was organized. Domestic origin, price, and healthiness were the most commonly mentioned factors that affected the buying decisions. It was discovered that age had an influence on buying organic, for example, respondents in the age groups 20–29 and 30–39 were buying more organic food compared to other groups, and respondents in age group 70+ less compared to other groups (p=0.003). Income, education, or individual family composition did not affect the tendency to buy organic.
  • Amiri, Ali; Emami, Nargessadat; Ottelin, Juudit; Sorvari, Jaana; Marteinsson, Björn; Heinonen, Jukka; Junnila, Seppo (Elsevier, 2021)
    Energy and Buildings 241: 110962
    The construction and use of buildings consume a significant proportion of global energy and natural resources. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is arguably the most international green building certification system and attempts to take actions to limit energy use of buildings and construct them sustainably. While there has been a wide range of research mainly focused on energy use and emission production during the operation phase of LEED-certified buildings, research on embodied emissions is rare. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficiency of LEED regarding initial (pre-use) embodied emissions using life cycle assessment (LCA). The study comprised several steps using a designed model. In the first step, three optional building material scenarios were defined (optimized concrete, hybrid concrete-wood, and wooden buildings) in addition to the base case concrete building located in Iceland. Second, an LCA was conducted for each scenario. Finally, the number of LEED points and the level of LEED certification was assessed for all studied scenarios. In addition, a comparison regarding embodied emissions consideration between LEED and Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) as mostly used green certificate was conducted in the discussion section. The LCA showed the lowest environmental impact for the wooden building followed by the hybrid concrete-wood building. In the LEED framework, wooden and hybrid scenarios obtained 14 and 8 points that were related to material selection. Among these points, only 3 (out of a total of 110 available points) were directly accredited to embodied emissions. The study recommends that the green building certificates increase the weight of sustainable construction materials since the significance of embodied emissions is substantially growing along with the current carbon neutrality goals. As most of the materials for building construction are imported into Iceland, this study is useful for locations similar to Iceland, while overall it is beneficial for the whole world regarding climate change mitigation.