News 2015-06-29

New business models can reduce the building sector's climate impact

The carbon footprint left by construction work is equivalent to that of private motoring. But a study by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute shows that it is possible to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from construction and demolition equipment with the help of circular business models. The greatest potential can be found in the installation and construction sectors and all actors in the construction process are important if emissions are to be reduced.

– Modern machines with comparable functions differ only marginally in terms of fuel consumption and emissions – between 4 and 8 per cent. However, there are big differences in emissions between different operators – up to 40 per cent. If we want to reduce emissions it is therefore crucial that we influence how these machines are used, says Johan M. Sanne at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

Under the project, which is part of Volvo Construction Equipment's research programme “Construction Climate Challenge”, IVL has implemented an integrated approach where the use of fuel-efficient machines is linked to life cycle data for construction outputs and technical support for the operator to optimize workflow. More knowledge is needed as to how construction machines can be used more efficiently and how different techniques can be used to this end. Economic control instruments are also required.

­– Currently operators lack the incentive to avail themselves of the technical assistance and training that would enable them to be more fuel-efficient. The technical opportunities are there, but they are not fully utilized, says Johan M. Sanne.

He also believes that when sourcing and procuring the construction industry must to a greater extent insist upon new kinds of requirements able to accommodate the use of circular business models.

– There are systems that could be introduced, such as functional procurement and contracts that include climate change clauses and incentives designed to reduce it.

At Volvo Construction Equipment's Construction Climate Challenge Summit to be held in Gothenburg on June 24, the major challenges facing the construction industry will be ventilated. John M. Sanne will be present at the conference to inform of the results of the study.

For more information, please contact:
Johan M. Sanne E-mail: johan.sanne@ivl.se
Phone: 046 (0)8-598 56 459