GHG emissions or energy can be considered ‘embodied’ in products. This refers to the energy use or GHG emissions associated with their production, use, and disposal.
The concept is important because, particularly in the case of embodied GHG emissions, these impacts are not always accounted for in the cost of the product.
If the costs of reversing the environmental impacts associated with the production, use, and disposal of certain products were included in the cost to the user (also called ‘internalising’ those costs), they would become much more expensive.
Embodied energy can be defined as the energy consumed in order to construct or manufacture any usable object (eg a mobile phone, a car, a house). 
Therefore, embodied energy can be held to include energy used to extract the materials that make up the object, refining of those materials, processing, transporting and fabricating the object and materials.
Embodied energy is found within all types of objects. A given object’s embodied energy can be determined by analysing the materials contained within an object. The amount of energy needed to produce a certain material such as aluminium, steel, or concrete can be used to calculate the energy embodied in the object.
2. Embodied carbon
Embodied energy is associated with the concept of embodied carbon. This refers to the carbon dioxide that was emitted during the object’s creation.
3. Uses of embodied energy
The concept of embodied energy can be used to work out the potential energy savings available from a particular object.
Embodied energy is usually measured in unit such as megajoules per kilogram. All the energy within an object is aggregated to give the amount of energy in the entire object.
For example, if a planned solar power project is expected to operate with high energy efficiency but its construction requires the consumption of very high amounts of energy, the project may not go ahead. This information would also be used to calculate the embodied carbon emissions associated with the project.
4.Variations in methodology
There are various ways of calculating embodied energy. Calculation procedures are often simplified to a few building types via a generalised representation of the construction process. There is a need for a more standardised calculation method for embodied energy and resulting CO2 emissions. This applies not only to housing, but to the wider construction industry, as well as manufacturing.
5. Embodied energy in new build housing
The built environment is responsible for nearly half of all the UK’s carbon emissions. The concept of embodied carbon can help reduce carbon emissions from the products and processes involved in a building’s lifecycle. 
The embodied energy of a building is considered to account for less than one-fifth of its whole-life energy use.
As the operational energy efficiency of new build housing improves, embodied energy will account for a greater proportion. Ultimately, embodied energy could account for 100% of the lifetime energy use and emissions.
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