Freight transports comes with a number of undesirable effects, on the environment and health as well as loss of time due to traffic congestions. These effects can be measured by using the concept of external costs; costs paid by other than the goods owners or the carriers - generally by society at large.
The full effects of our consumption on the environment and natural resource depletion are poorly understood. To safeguard both the economy and environment the European Union is aiming to improve resource efficiency. As part of this process, IVL researchers will provide the European Commission with datasets of life cycle assessments to help model the environmental effects of EU trade – both imports and exports.
Since the 60's, the rainfall over south western Sweden and the Gothenburg area has almost doubled and by 2100 it is expected to increase by a further thirty percent. More rain leads to both elevated groundwater levels and surface runoff, effects which ultimately will increase the risk of contaminated drinking water.
A comparative analysis done by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute shows that from a health and environmental perspective emissions from ethanol cars are only slightly better than those fuelled by petrol.
A review of the development for the 16 largest eco-labels shows, for most of them, a growth rate of both double and triple digits. The review State of Sustainability Initiatives Review 2014 has been developed within the IVL-led research program Entwined and the review shows that, all combined, eco-labels certified products for an estimated trade value of U.S. $ 31.6 billion in 2012.
Researchers from IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, the University of Gothenburg, and Chalmers, along with a number of Chinese partners, have been awarded a major research grant from Formas and the Swedish Research Council to conduct research on photochemical smog in Beijing and Hong Kong. With 123 applicants the project was one of only four projects who were granted funds.
Tests conducted by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institutearound major Swedish airports show that highly fluorinated compounds known as PFAS continues to leak from the airports into their surroundings. With the current decline rate it is estimated that it will take 60-70 years before the environmental concentrations are down to normal levels.
At a recent seminar organized by IVL and The Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers the Sweden Water Innovation Centre - SWIC - was successfully launched. SWIC is based at the test and demonstration facility Hammarby Sjöstadsverk, which is a joint venture between IVL and KTH.
Highly fluorinated substances, also known as PFAS, have caused contamination of drinking water in several municipalities. Some municipalities have had to close off the drinking water since PFAS from fire drill locations have leaked into the groundwater. This situation is highlighted in a report by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, commissioned by the Swedish Chemicals Agency and the National Food Agency.
What happens if the economic growth ends? What does such a society look like and what would it mean for our welfare? Those are some of the questions posed in the research project “Beyond GDP growth. Scenarios for a sustainable society“. The project has received SEK 23 million from the Swedish Research Council Formas.